Patient Experience: Transforming towards Patient-Centric Healthcare

A Transformation towards a Patient-centric Healthcare is increasingly the need of the hour. Patient experience goes beyond on-site visit. It starts from pre-visit conditions, i.e. patient making an appointment after initial pain, and goes to post-discharge conditions.

One of the three main pillars of quality care alongside safety and effectiveness is patient experience. Every industry relies on internalising customer insights into everyday decision-making. Now, the healthcare industry is adapting that same method for the success of its organisations which are becoming more consumer friendly. For decades the industry has ignored how patients think and feel about their experiences however, “consumerism” being what it is today, Healthcare executives are being forced to pay closer attention.

A hospital’s performance is often measured on clinical excellence, patient safety track record and continuous improvement. However, patients require more than this. They want to feel reassured, cared for and respected. They want professionals to listen to and understand them.

Thanks to patient discussion forums (Pharmacy Researcher), social media (Trustpilot) and surveys, patients can now provide important information about their personal experiences with doctors, clinics, nursing staff and hospitals. In addition to this, engagement with care delivery organisations via call centres and interactive in-room TV apps give key insights.

Today, some factors contributing to a positive care experience are the doctor’s overall knowledge, training and expertise, the doctor’s ability to access overall medical history, the time the doctor spends with patients and the ease of making an appointment.

Hospitals are realising that developing better patient experience is imperative, not only for safety and quality reason but also to gain a competitive advantage.

In a statement, Chilmark Research Analyst Brian Eastwood commented, “Healthcare organizations recognize the importance of collecting data about the patient experience at the point of care, both to address issues that an individual patient might be facing and to identify problems within a department or business unit”.

To get front line staff and to get buy-in from executive leadership, CEOs will have to align short and long-term strategies with point of care survey solutions to improve overall patient experience.

When all the information is collected and used in combination with key hospital objective metrics and CMS data, it can have a huge influence on the many decisions healthcare executives have to make.  These “narrative data assets” give new perspectives that have never been available to the healthcare industry before. For example, data visualisation can help hospitals “explain to people why they’re doing what they’re doing and show progress along the way”.

A positive patient experience allows providers to follow up with patients to track outcomes and gather feedback with effective data management tools to more accurately track health outcomes.

Combined with value-based care, predictive medicine and the new digital healthcare consumer, patient experience is leading the transformation towards patient-centric healthcare. Patients today want to feel in charge of their health so healthcare systems need to provide them with emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial perspectives (patient portals, mobile apps…).

However, data cannot drive change by itself, it will need to work in collaboration with people.  Caretakers will need to be reoriented to focus on patient experience. According to a survey by the European health Parliament in 2016, 80% of healthcare professionals believed that their mobile health and e-health training across devices and platforms were poor.

Healthcare systems will need a cultural, transformative change to embrace the patient-centric trend if they want to be more successful and impactful on their patient’s health.

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