4 Ways to Improve Your Patient Experience
Creating a positive patient experience is more important than ever. Multiple priorities and limited resources may make health care leaders question the value of measuring and improving the patient’s experience.
However, increasing evidence linking patient experience to improved outcomes as well as regulatory trends should provide a compelling case for improving patient experience.
So what steps can your organisation take to improve its patient outcomes and experience?
1. Improve patient knowledge
Improving the patient experience starts with engaging the community before they enter care. Including family members in the circle of care and proactively promoting preventive care can help catch disease early or avoid its onset. Sharing information through various outreach and educational programs can help patients and their families make more informed choices about their care. By increasing patient knowledge, both the patient experience and health outcomes can be improved.
2. Embed compassionate culture
Improving patient experience begins with embedding a culture of compassion in a health organisation. The patient experience is greatly influenced by human-to-human interactions. Therefore, the actions and reactions of employees play a major role in determining whether a patient’s experience is positive or negative. Compassion should be front and centre of treatment and care, even in moments where it may be difficult due to a patient’s behaviour.
3. Optimise the diagnostic experience
As defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Patient experience encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with the health care system, including their care from health plans, and from doctors, nurses, and staff in hospitals, physician practices, and other health care facilities.”
With such a vast opportunity of interactions between the health provider and the patient, it can be difficult to see how one interaction can impact the overall experience of the patient. However, each interaction forms part of the care – patient experience can be greatly improved by focussing on ways to improve communication, minimise delays and streamline coordination of care.
4. Measure patient interactions
While the above points can go a long way in improving patient experience, none of this will matter if it is not put into practice for future patients. By using a baseline of data, any improvements can then be measured and monitored for ongoing benefit to both the healthcare organisation and current and future patients. Measuring results against this baseline can help reveal what tactics or programs work, and which need revision.