Patient Experience: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Research

November 14, 2019

Patient Experience: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Research

November 14, 2019

For any entity in the healthcare industry, be it a hospital, healthcare provider, or private practice, their focus should be the same – the patient.

The healthcare industry has undergone many changes in the last few decades, and not all of them are related to treatments.

Most healthcare companies have undergone or are in the process of undergoing a digital transformation with the express aim to improve productivity, ease logistics and deliver better services. 

One of the cornerstones of modern healthcare is a renewed focus on the overall patient experience. 

This is in part because simply providing excellent care is not enough to ensure success for any healthcare firm nowadays.

Patient experience encompasses a person’s entire range of interactions with the healthcare system – right from booking appointments, to procedures and the services extended to the patient after their stay at the healthcare facility is over. Primarily, patient experience aims to reduce overall healthcare costs for the patient as well as healthcare providers.

Improving the patient experience

Healthcare facilities the world over are coming up with novel solutions to tackle the issue of providing a better patient experience in a cost-effective manner.

Aside from transformational steps like modernizing certain processes like payment and booking and bringing them into the digital era, how does one go about improving the overall patient experience tangibly?

What if you’ve already made some changes – how do you discern if they are making the desired impact?

The answer lies with the patients themselves!

Get feedback

It’s unreasonable to ask doctors and nurses who are already working in a highly stressful environment to cater to every aspect of the patient’s experience at their facility.

It makes sense for any entity in the healthcare industry to deploy a software-based solution to conduct patient surveys. Modern platforms for surveys have enabled researchers to gain access to robust data which can give valuable insights about the patient experience at that particular healthcare facility.

 

Act

A well scripted survey is sure to deliver lots of data. This data in turn can provide actionable insights for healthcare organizations. Strategically acting upon these insights is sure to improve the overall patient experience quickly and in a sustainable manner.

 

Measure success

After implementing new processes and changes based on the insights gained earlier, healthcare facilities need to turn their eye towards the patients once more. Is there an improvement in their experience? If they’re recurring patients, is the new system objectively better than it was before?

It would be worthwhile for healthcare providers to gather data after some time again, to measure the success brought about from the changes and see if there’s any room for improvement.

Are patients the only human factor?

An often overlooked part of the healthcare industry is the staff themselves. The people that comprise this segment are not just limited to doctors and nurses alone. Janitorial staff, IT, Front desk executives; they’re all professionals with unique perspectives on how the healthcare industry functions and if they are positive about their workplace, it’s bound to affect patient experience as well.

It would be a waste to not utilize their take on how healthcare works and use it as additional data points to glean insights from. Surveying them as well as patients is sure to deliver insights which can be used to design a strategy to improve patient experience holistically.

Data – the path forward to improving patient experience

It’s clear that today’s powerful survey tools can help measure and improve patient care experience significantly. Every touchpoint at a healthcare facility that the patient comes in contact with is a potential source of rich data which can help enact organizational changes and drive future healthcare strategy.

Robust data generated by modern survey platforms also helps in detecting organizational weaknesses which more often than not cause financial losses as well. Survey data can be the tool with which healthcare organizations provide a patient experience that leaves little room for dissatisfaction.

 

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