7 Ways to Improve Patient Experience for Happier Patients
Customer experience is a term all too familiar in different industries around the world. But the healthcare industry is not among the industries that put their customers’ experience first.
Time to catch up and work on improving patient experience in hospitals.
Healthcare vs. Other Industries
To emphasize the difference in standards between patient experience in healthcare and customer experience in other industries, take a look at these examples.
Today we can…
… track our pizza from baking to delivery
Yet, in healthcare you…
… have to decode and decide on the insurance plan for yourself and your family
These are just a few examples of healthcare not putting their customers first. Healthcare providers can and should be inspired by some of the most innovative companies in the world and meet the needs of their patients.
7 Competitive Ways to Improve Patient Experience
The world we live in today is incredibly connected. There is no need for inaccessibility, lack of communication or delays in service. Yet the healthcare industry is dealing with inconveniences every day.
Patients live in a world of convenience, seamless systems and knowledge galore. And yet they don’t experience the healthcare industry as being seamless. Why is convenience so important when it comes to improving patient experience?
Convenience encourages TRUST
Convenience is EXPECTED
Convenience inspires LOYALTY
Health is as personal as it gets. Whether it’s your DNA, diet, medication or exercise. So why are so many healthcare solutions one-size-fits-all? Working out 3 days a week is the way to go and WeightWatchers is THE best diet. Right? Why are these healthcare recommendations not taking into account our specific needs? Why not tailor them?
Patients are starting to feel that doctors are offering them an impersonal service and that they are too busy to really listen. Time to really make health personal we think. Here is why customization is key to improving patient experience in healthcare organizations.
Customization is PERSONAL
Customization means CONTROL
The healthcare world can often feel overwhelming to patients. On one side there are average people seeking healing and on the other side there are highly specialized healthcare professionals.
Customization will close this gap between patients and medical professionals. As an effect patients feel in control of their care and feel more confident and engaged.
Customization creates DATA
To customize healthcare organizations need to get personal. They can learn from patients sharing personal information. Technology is taking major steps in collecting patient generated data these days.
Patients are using wearable devices to track all kinds of health aspects. This data is extremely valuable to healthcare professionals when making medical recommendations. Enabling better customized care and improving the patient experience.
In a perfect world finding a doctor, procedures and medication would be easy. But in today’s healthcare industry this is far from reality. Access to healthcare, procedure information and your own medical history is far from streamlined.
However, the healthcare industry is slowly learning from other industries and steps are being made to simplify healthcare. EHR systems are a great example of ease in healthcare. But there is still a long way to go. Here is why ‘ease’ make an impact on the patient experience.
Ease inspires CONFIDENCE
Ease signals TRANSPARENCY
Don’t you feel intimidated when you have to work your way through a maze of difficult systems and languages? Patients are no different.
Make sure your communication is open and through simple language and clear instructions. This will ensure patients the healthcare organization is on their side. Transparency increases trust and hence improve patient experience.
Ease is INVITING
Patients crave connection. Both in their personal lives and in the care they receive. Connections and relationships makes patients feel supported. Yes in the healthcare industry, when support is crucial, disconnection is more common than not.
Patient encounter disconnection with their doctors, their families and between healthcare organizations. Patients need the support from their family and they need their doctors to talk to each other.
If doctors aren’t communicating, how can patients feel safe and secure and trust they are doing their best to help them? Connectivity should be a major focus for improving patient experience. Why?
Connectivity is HUMAN
Connectivity inspires HOPE
Feeling connected to the professionals and organization responsible for their care gives patients hope. They have a front row seat to see how well everyone is working together and how well the pieces fall together.
This creates a sense of understanding and control giving patients the confidence to carry on working on their health.
Connectivity challenges CONVENTION
Digital connectivity is something that has become normal in many industries, except for the healthcare industry. There are still many healthcare organization not guaranteeing high quality digital connections between patient and doctors and patient and family.
Special healthcare displays are a great way to get the digital connection in place. Allowing for patients to stay in touch with everyone they need during an uncomfortable hospital stay. Greatly improving patient experience levels.
Many organizations tend to misunderstand the definition of a connection. Connecting with customers or patients doesn’t mean a great amount of social media likes. No, meaningful connections with patients is about understanding. About empathy and feeling with people.
In what industry is feeling with people more important than in healthcare? Healthcare organizations need to recognize patients as people, not numbers or likes. This is why empathy matters in connection with improving patient experience.
Empathy creates UNDERSTANDING
Empathy opens DOORS
Caring is a two-way street. Creating meaningful and real connections between patients and healthcare organizations will make everyone open up. Patients are more likely to share personal information about themselves and their conditions.
Patients need to feel safe and valuable for them to open door to their lives, helping healthcare professionals take better informed medical decisions. This not only improves the patient experience but health outcomes as well.
Empathy builds RELATIONSHIPS
We often know what we need to do, or changes we need to make. Yet we don’t act on it. Why? It’s not a lack of knowledge, because we know we need to make the change or do the work.
It’s a lack of motivation. A proactive approach to our health takes effort and the way to motivate tputting in the effort is positive reinforcement. Positively encouraging patients can create a motivation that changes behavior. It empowers patients to take control and feel responsible for their own health, resulting in better health outcomes and an improved patient experience.
Motivation is CONTAGIOUS
Google allows us to find anything we want to know. It is an endless source of information that gives us the ability to learn things and make well-informed decisions.
Yet our health is one aspect of our lives that we are under-informed about. Patients want to feel empowered by their choices and are therefore tracking many aspects of their health. The desire for knowledge is there, but patients are having a hard time finding it. This is why empowerment helps improve patient experience.
KNOWLEDGE is power
SEEING is believing
CHANGE is constant
So what can we learn from these 7 ways to improve patient experience? The healthcare industry need to start innovating, just like any other industry, to keep responding to patient needs. Healthcare providers need to remember this:
Patients are people
Look further than solving a patient’s physical needs. Look at solving their human needs
Healthcare organizations need to change constantly to keep up with competition
The healthcare industry should be inspired by innovative companies both in healthcare and in other industries
Want to use technology to improve your patients’ experience?