Healthcare News & Insights

Keys to improving patient experience

Giving patients a quality experience when they come to your facility will take help from your entire staff — and even your technology. 

178488437Providers know that delivering a positive patient experience is an important component of meeting the new demand for affordable, efficient patient-centered care, according to a Gallup article.

In a recent survey of healthcare leaders by Healthleaders Media, a healthcare business information and training company, researchers found 84% of hospital execs listed giving patients a good experience during their visits as a one of their top three priorities.

It’s not as easy as you might think.

Experience and strength-based strategies

The struggle comes from the fact that so many different factors can influence patient experience during a visit. Hospitals need the commitment of both administrative and clinical staff to deliver a consistent, positive patient experience.

Gallup believes that focusing on strengths-based management is one potential way to accomplish this goal. Managing with your staff’s strengths in mind can also improve their engagement with their work. And a more engaged staff can reduce medical errors.

Some of the strategies Gallup recommends hospitals and their staff managers use include:

  • Collecting feedback from employees to better understand their strengths, goals and motivation for performing better.
  • Identifying which tasks and activities best suit employee’s strengths.
  • Helping employees continue to develop and leverage their talents with training and education opportunities.

Improving experience with EHRs

Using these strategies can help make sure patients consistently have positive interactions with your staff.

Another way to improve patients’ experience with your hospital is to help patients feel like they have more control over their health care. For example, giving them access to their medical records through your electronic health records (EHR) system.

As FierceEMR reports, although some providers have raised concerns about lifting the veil on physicians’ documentation, evidence from recent research shows there are significant advantages to giving patients some autonomy in their care.

A study conducted by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) looked into patients’ experiences with open access to their health records through the My HealtheVet EHR access program.

Researchers found that the open access system had a predominantly positive effect on patients care and provider experience. In particular, researchers saw improvements in areas such as:

  • Patient-provider communication
  • Chronic care coordination, and
  • Appointment follow-through.

Additionally, access to health records improved patients’ understanding of and participation in their own care.

Finding ways to play to your staff’s strengths and engaging patients in their own care are two ways hospital leaders can improve their patients’ experience with their facility. In general, more patients are looking for digital care management tools from their providers anyway.

So facilities may want to begin researching patient portals or other EHRs that give patients some level of access to their health records.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest healthcare news and insights delivered to your inbox.