According to the Beryl Institute, patient experience is the sum of all interactions the patient has with a hospital which is turn is shaped by its culture. Hospitals often face the daunting challenge of connecting with the patient and understanding his or her needs to improve their processes. Recognising the importance of patient management care in hospitals, here are a few budget-friendly ways organisations can increase engagement with their patients and learn from them:
A lot can be seen and understood from an unedited footage of a patient’s journey in the hospital. With the flip cam, patients can volunteer to provide a first-person view of what the hospital experience is like for someone who’s be admitted. From the parking lot to the staff at the reception, these videos will provide an authentic representation of the patient’s experience.
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A common practice to understand a patient’s needs better is to conduct in-depth interviews with them. However, interviewers tend to document the interview by taking simplified notes. As a result, important insights that emerge during the interview are overlooked.
By recording the entire conversation as it transpired, the staff can make note of all the experiences, the feelings that were shared and the tone of the conversation without missing out on any details – leading to a much better understanding of the patient.
Often in a hospital, it becomes challenging to remember all the patients as individuals with a different set of needs and behaviours. Persona posters can capture relevant information of the patients and serve as cue cards for staff members, leading to quicker response to patient’s queries and requests.
In healthcare, treatment processes tend to get organised around the organisation rather than the patient. These processes can become irritants for patients. A healthcare provider can put him or herself in the patient’s shoes by walking through the areas a patient experiences. A camera can be used to document the hospital environment from this perspective, thereby highlighting areas of improvement.
The pictures will reveal certain details of service that the staff might have overlooked. For instance, is there enough privacy for the patients while they wait; is there adequate room for wheelchairs? In addition to the clinical quality, it is important to consider the environment in which the care is provided.
A ten-minute huddle can energize the staff for the entire day. To conduct a huddle, include all the members of the care team – physicians, nurses, administrative support. During the huddle, let ideas and views flow freely, talk about patient experience and discuss solutions that can make it better. Ideally, for huddles to become effective, they should be conducted weekly. Some discussion points for the huddle could be:
· Showcasing individuals who’ve demonstrated expected behaviors
· Reviewing patient satisfaction scores
· Discussing organization-wide experience initiatives and their impact on your unit
An experience map displays all the activities that are a part of the patient experience and provides a holistic view. By seeing the patient journey as one continuum, individuals can appreciate their respective roles and the next steps.
The map should be created from the patient’s perspective and not from a process perspective. This orientation will allow a greater sense of empathy towards the patient.
Putting up measures of success and performance results on a highly visible space helps reinforce the importance of patient experience by rewarding the right behaviours.
Putting up a comment wall helps create a positive environment - all you need is a dry erase board and some wall space. Staff members and patients can leave comments, praises and wishes on the wall which acts as an alternate channel for positive communication.
Taking time out to compose and send emails to the entire care team helps keeping everyone in the know. The email can even include a patient comments or feedback. Sharing this demonstrates that the team holds each other accountable for success.
In healthcare, there is a unique opportunity to interact with patients and families in different ways compared to other service industries. Actively volunteering for any kind of assistance and always being there to help the patient will not only create a stronger connect with the patient, but also provide work satisfaction.