To enhance the patient experience, healthcare providers should always meet expected user needs and expectations. Patient satisfaction has become a paramount priority for medical leaders. In addition, payers are also rewarding hospitals that achieve superior patient satisfaction scores. This article offers a practical guide to understanding the relationship between patient satisfaction and hospital performance.
Satisfied patients can provide essential feedback to hospitals regarding their level of service and care. As such, healthcare organizations have turned to quantitative measures in measuring patient satisfaction-this often results in the adoption of numerical metrics. However, some argue that quantitative measures do not provide the scope for finding Meaningful Connected Care Solutions (EMS) that enhance the patient experience. Such Meaningful Connected Care Solutions are needed to promote continuity in patient care across the healthcare spectrum and be viewed as integrated whole-system solutions instead of just numerical numbers.
To enhance the patient experience, healthcare organizations should consider the range of services provided by their various departments. Different departments work hand-in-hand with one another in providing healthcare services and improving healthcare quality. When departments are not working effectively together, communication channels, such as patient recall, are not effectively used or maintained to ensure optimal patient care. Healthcare organizations should consider engaging different departments in improving collaboration among each other, such as implementing electronic patient records (EPR).
Likewise, healthcare organizations should consider engaging all stakeholders in healthcare improvement initiatives. The focus of engaging these critical stakeholders in healthcare improvement initiatives should include improving service delivery. Various studies have found that improved service delivery contributes to higher levels of patient satisfaction. The introduction of value-based decision-making processes, such as the Healthcare Quality Improvement Program (HIP), has led to improvements in service delivery. Other strategies to improve service delivery include workforce planning and talent management initiatives designed to address issues that hinder patient-provider interaction.
As part of healthcare improvement initiatives, healthcare organizations need to improve patient satisfaction. Healthcare professionals are more likely to be hospitalized and stay longer in the hospital when compared with patients who were not satisfied with the level of care provided by their doctors and other healthcare professionals. Satisfied patients may also require a higher level of care when compared with unsatisfied patients. To enhance patient experience and enhance patient satisfaction, healthcare organizations should consider incorporating a patient satisfaction survey into their annual healthcare quality improvement initiatives. Surveys can help determine which problems exist that might hinder patient satisfaction and how to resolve these problems.
Healthcare organizations can also enhance patient experience and enhance patient satisfaction by implementing online patient engagement and other online tools that will encourage visitors to their websites to engage with the content on the site. For example, healthcare organizations should consider engaging visitors through an online questionnaire. The questions included should address the issues that prompt patient concerns and those that deal with the specific services that the website offers. If the site also offers information on the patient’s history and general information about their case, this can also be used. Online forums are also another tool that can promote patient engagement and provide an avenue for the community to voice its opinion.
Enhancing patient care can also be achieved by making patient visits easier for patients and doctors. During office visits, doctors should make every effort to explain the specific services they are offering and the reasons behind the provision. Specific instructions on what patients need to do during their visit, such as brushing teeth or taking their medication, should also be included in-office visits. This will ensure that patients feel welcome and comfortable and are more likely to engage in future health-related activities. These same processes should also be incorporated when patients are at their home, via telephone or video, to make the overall patient encounter less intimidating and more productive.
Patients themselves can also contribute to patient care by making suggestions about improvements. The use of patient reviews that are featured in media can help identify what areas require improvement. In addition, patients can also create a profile that details their personal experiences with certain healthcare professionals, including physicians, and rate their level of satisfaction. Improve patient experience healthcare ratings can be shared with others interested in the particular patient care, and other information on improving patient experience and patient satisfaction can also be found through online directories, such as those maintained by the American Medical Association. Using all of these tools to improve patient experience and patient satisfaction, healthcare organizations will be on the road to improving patient care and reducing medical errors and other problems.