Patient Experience Improvement

What is Patient Experience and How Do You Improve It?

December 9, 2022



What is Patient Experience?

Patient Experience is the sum of all interactions patients have with their healthcare providers.

It includes the quality of care provided by their doctors, nurses, hospital staff, healthcare plans, and the facilities at these institutions. 

The way healthcare is delivered to patients seeking or receiving care, forms an integral part of patient experience.

Seamless communication between providers and patients, the ability to make timely appointments, decreased waiting times, transparency, easy access to information, relational follow-through, hygiene, etc. are all factors that play an important role while considering patient experience.

Optimizing these factors is what pushes healthcare providers towards patient-centric care.

Being respectful of and responsive to each patient’s individual needs, preferences, and values is what positive patient experience is all about.

Suggested Read: Why Healthcare Contact Centers Need Salesforce

How do you measure Patient Experience?

Measuring people’s experience of health services is key to improving initiatives and primary care. 

There are many ways to measure patient experience, most common among them being – surveys, interviews, patient stories, comment cards, kiosk questions, patient panels, online ratings, liaison services feedback, focus groups, and ward rounds.

These tools can be combined in unique ways to find an approach that provides you with in-depth or generalizable insight – whatever you’re looking for. 

To find actionable insight, the focus should be on what matters most to the patient.

Why is patient experience important?

A consistent and positive patient experience is associated with the quality and effectiveness of care. 

It has a huge impact on health outcomes.

Over the last couple of decades, government bodies and healthcare regulators have increased their focus on patient experience scores.

It forms one of the central pillars that healthcare payors and providers are evaluated against.

Healthcare systems that provide engaged, anticipatory, and integrated care have better patient experience outcomes. This ultimately results in: 

  • The willingness of patients to return to the same healthcare provider. It hugely impacts patient loyalty and retention – ultimately increasing market shares.
  • A boost to the organization's reputation in a particularly competitive market.
  • Empowered patients who respond positively to options that reflect their personalized needs.
  • Increased receptivity and adherence of patients to clinical practices, medication, and preventive care.
  • A better patient safety culture that is supported by managers who understand its influence on organizational performance.
  • Shorter stays and reduced readmission of patients through improved care transitions and removing discharge barriers.
  • Equity in access to care through acknowledgment of variability of individual patient needs.
  • Improved staff morale and motivation through increased engagement in patient-centric QI and better ward setup.
  • Higher productivity of medical staff and doctors because of the implementation of the right combination of technologies.

Suggested Read: Why Healthcare Contact Centers Need Salesforce

Factors Influencing Patient Experience Outcomes

Some of the key factors that influence the above-mentioned outcomes are:

  • Clinical Factors: such as core services, customization, professional credibility, quality of treatment, ward rounds, consultations, pharmacy, etc.
  • Administrative Factors: such as reception, check-ins, discharge procedures, clarity of appointment letters, relational follow-ups, etc.
  • Facilities Management Factors: such as food, cleanliness, and infrastructural factors like wayfinding, parking, etc.

All these factors have an obvious influence on patients’ expectations. 

However, there is one major factor that patients, providers, and payors often fail to consider.

What patients don’t think about is how “communications” influence the type of care they will receive.

Some of the reasons why patient experience suffers are because of poor communication, long wait times, and impersonal care. 

Communications strongly influence patients’ service quality assessment and this is where real-time Omnichannel Communications step in to transform your patient experience. 

Patient Experience Through Real-Time Omnichannel Communications

Here’s how Real-Time Omnichannel Communications improve your Patient experience:

  • As it becomes more difficult for healthcare providers to compete based on price and quality, providing accessible communications options does wonders for boosting patient experience.
  • Omnichannel Communications appeals to empowered patients that are looking for real-time, face-to-face interactions that focus on patient education and self-service.
  • Going digital allows healthcare providers to be available for patients around the clock. It also allows for the seamless integration of data and services which is crucial for the healthcare industry.
  • Providing the right environment to deliver personalized care across all channels in an uninterrupted manner has a positive impact on patient experience. It creates interoperability that is crucial for delivering patient-centric care.
  • Increased accessibility to virtual appointments and remote patient monitoring does wonders for streamlining the scheduling process. Decreased paperwork and arbitrary procedures relieve doctors and hospital staff from added stress. This ultimately increases productivity.
  • When both patients and providers have access to relevant data at their fingertips and communicate through more channels than one, it significantly decreases wait times. 

It is important to remember that patient experience is a subjective measure of the quality of care you provide.

Because of this, it is important to focus your assessment on the needs of your patients. Every aspect of the wide range of interactions that patients are subject to becomes crucial to a greater or lesser extent. 

Providing a great patient experience is made easier and more attainable by implementing real-time omnichannel strategies. 

It combines effectiveness and efficiency to enhance customer experience which is the standard in today’s healthcare industry.

Your consumers are ready to engage with omnichannel experiences. 

Are you?

To learn how Omni Channel can transform your Patient Experience and positively affect your business, you can also read:

Healthcare Communication

Patient-Centric Care

Real-Time Omnichannel Communications

Patient Experience Measurement

Business Impact of Patient Experience

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