Patient Experience: Are you doing enough?

MX Bites / January 13, 2022

The pandemic has created a heightened sense for improved communications throughout organizations that are seen using technology to improve the customer experience (CX), nurture loyalty, and boost customer satisfaction. Healthcare companies are experimenting with them right now in order to meet changing consumer preferences, and reassure anxious consumers. With exciting opportunities coming to the forefront to enhance their digital CX options, there’s a positive impact of systems seeking to support and enhance personalized care.

Most patients lack the technical knowledge to judge the quality of their medical care, and this is where “open-ended feedback” becomes an integral part of patient satisfaction scores as patients often reflect on the service experience. As with every interaction, patients form opinions about quality based on staff empathy, service attitude, and friendliness, as well as communication proficiencies, and practice efficiency.

There is no better way to evaluate the impact of service quality on the care experience than to listen to them, and in order to do so, organizations need to understand how patients judge service quality and take a systematic approach to use patient feedback to improve service. Hospitals are exploring hospitality measures as it is no longer just focused on treatment plans.

There is a range of potential aspects to consider when we cover the patent surrounding Patient Experience (PX) noteworthy are 5 models in PX to improve on as we head into 2022:

1. Patients Are The Consumers

In health care, A patient is defined as a person who is receiving health care, and a consumer is a person who makes a decision about obtaining a good or a service, and then proceeds (or not) to obtain it.  As health care progressively moves to value-based care,  patients are now seen behaving more like consumers in their healthcare interactions, especially since they are making all sorts of decisions about their well-being. Patient satisfaction outcomes are tied to the overall customer journey which ultimately affects areas for returning patient care. 

 The medical care may be world-class, but if the experience is unsavory, the patient may seek care elsewhere, and through word of mouth may advise against visiting the facility. The clinician may have developed a great plan for patients to help them manage a chronic disease, but if the motivational support is seen lacking. and the process of scheduling routine follow-up appointments is too complex, adherence will likely divert elsewhere.

2. Technology Does Not Translate The Patient Experience 

Health systems should recognize that, as is true for any exceptional customer experience, digital capabilities are vital, but don’t necessarily meet the consumer needs as one would put it. Consumers expect more than the ability to use their mobile device to make an appointment to see a physician and are judging the process surrounding service organizations. The basis of performance is parallel to the accessibility of care in terms of technical, and human components of care delivery triumphing apace with the management of payment care.

Lastly, patients have a simple need, and that is they expect to be informed if they are Okay, what should be a focus, and what should happen next. An outstanding consumer experience requires the thoughtful examination of these core processes, the skilled application of technology, process change, and the strengthening of accountability to avoid falling at the wayside.

3. A Patient-Centric Processes Is the way forward

A patient-centric process encompasses an extensive range of interactions, allowing a patient to engage with many venues of care across the healthcare ecosystem. The interactions occur when, let’s say after visiting your General Practitioner (GP), are advised to see a specialist who may then proceed in discussions of possible medication side effects, during the conversation about clinical trial opportunities all under the same roof.

 Thanks to the pandemic, telehealth is no longer an afterthought for providers as healthcare facilities are driving the use of digital tools to improve the patient/consumer experience. With Sensory advances, mobile devices, and telehealth technologies – health management may extend well beyond traditional facilities such as delivering care at a patient’s home that has been traditionally delivered at a hospital. While we acknowledge these new opportunities may well present challenges for the patient/consumer experience, they could be seen as a norm in the future.

4. Technological Advancements drive Exceptional Experiences

Consumers foresee that healthcare will leverage advances in technology just as other industries have. Organizations leveraging AI-based process automation will be more intelligent. Providers will use data about a consumer to help tailor his or her care, and other interactions related to his or her health. Those who adopt the use of AI processing systems allow for more informed decisions with access to patient-reported outcomes to personalize messages, treatment options, health maintenance suggestions, and lifestyle-change programs.

5. Effective Use of Patient Feedback & Why you should respond

Patient Experience feedback can shape services to better meet patient needs. It also allows you to connect with them, ultimately strengthening your relationship for return visits. It results in patients using services efficiently, being more open to using clinical advice, and potentially increasing patient stay.  

Responding to feedback, both good and bad, is just as important as collecting feedback from patients. Timely and thoughtful responses cultivate trust with patients, showcase a degree of compassion, and care about their experiences with your healthcare practice.

Both patients and staff want patient feedback to be heard and acted on, and one aspect to always keep an eye on is the critical feedback received, as it is equally as impactful for any organization that strives for improvement. Politely acknowledge the writer, strive for resolution in order to maintain existing relationships, and strive to build more.

The patient experience represents a critical component of your ability to attract, and retain patients.  Making the patient experience success requires involvement from every level of an organization. When patients form positive relationships and begin to trust your providers, they become more engaged in their own care and develop a stronger sense of loyalty to your organization. Todays’ Patient Experience is related, and affected by tomorrows’ reputation forming a formidable bond has never been more important with foreseeable changes in Healthcare constantly developing.

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