How to Improve Your Patient’s Experience

We know healthcare is increasingly consumer-driven. From a doctor’s social media scores to how patient satisfaction ratings increasingly dictate reimbursement, the experience of our “customers,” matter. Here’s how healthcare organizations of any size or type can improve the patient experience, increase quality scores, and achieve better outcomes.

Patient Experience – Tips for Clinical Teams

Managed Healthcare Executive uses the Cleveland Clinic as a shining example of customer care that many hospitals are still striving to achieve. From greeting patients at the door of their healthcare facility and walking them to their appointments, to patient-centric designs of their waiting and exam rooms, this organization continues to impress patients and other healthcare leaders in the industry as the model for all of us to emulate.

The article distilled some of the characteristics of a patient-centered healthcare organization. They include:

  • A focus on the patient beyond their clinical issues. This can include asking about the patient’s unique experience during rounding – and then enabling clinicians to fix the issue. The goal is to determine how the patient is being cared for and what their comfort level is beyond the bandage change.
  • Using technology to improve hospital response. The article discussed a platform Geisinger is using to allow healthcare leaders to flag trouble spots in their facility in real time, and then track the response. If a nursing supervisor spots a dirty restroom, they can ping maintenance or housekeeping for a faster response.
  • Telehealth is changing how healthcare is delivered and improving patient convenience. For many patients, traveling to a clinical appointment is both physically uncomfortable and expensive. This is especially true in rural areas where access to specialty providers may require a long trip. A telehealth virtual visit brings a doctor to the patient for increased convenience and cost.
  • Personalizing the visit. It’s easy to feel like just a “head in the bed” in the industrialized environment of a hospital. Personalizing the experience with small touches, and then following up with a note to the patient, are simple ways to have a big impact on quality metrics.

HealthLeaders Media had a similar article focusing on how nurses can specifically impact the quality of care and caring that customers’ experience. The article shared a talk from the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) annual meeting and the idea that the power of the individual’s moment, or peak experience, is created by forward-thinking health systems. However, healthcare providers are training like guest services at Walt Disney, instead, bringing a plethora of troubleshooting skills that can be more life-saving than life-affirming.

But while healthcare is focused primarily on fixing problems, the article points out that building positive customer peak experiences had a direct correlation to patient satisfaction. Nurse leaders can offer these experiences in responding to patients in the following ways:

  • By reacting to or elevating an emotional moment. For example, each time a baby is born, some hospitals play a lullaby over the intercom.
  • By using motivational interviewing to get through to patients in a positive caring way.
  • Genuinely trying to connect with the patients you care for, even in small ways, can help positively impact patient comfort and satisfaction.

Patient satisfaction starts with employee satisfaction. Talk with the talent team at National Recruiters about a more human-centered approach to recruiting that could improve the satisfaction of your clinical candidates from the very beginning of your hiring process. Contact us to find out more.


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