Interactions between providers and patients, staff and patients, and providers and hospital employees play a major role in how patients perceive their hospital or physician visits.
There are several ways to ensure that the patient is having a positive experience. Here are four areas to focus on to improve patient experience.
- Implement staff, leadership rounding – Consistent rounding on patients and visitors provides staff the opportunity to build relationships with those they serve, which increases trust and positively influences the perception of care. Senior leadership should perform rounding, not only on their patients, but on those of their staff, as well. Rounding provides insight through the voice of the patient.
- Huddles – Morning huddles allow staff to examine patient safety, medical history, and quality of care as well as an overview of the patients that are scheduled for visits procedures, etc. This allows the staff to be prepared for the day. Weekly huddles provide an opportunity for everyone to think about how they could personally contribute to making progress, empower staff, and to present and respond weekly to identify actions for improvement. Huddles facilitate an open discussion about what went wrong, what changes have been made to resolve the issue, and what kind of support that staff members need to make permanent changes.
- Create a patient satisfaction committee – During their monthly meetings, spotlight a positive and a negative patient experience. Celebrate the success as well as evaluate what happened to cause the negative experience. Did a communication breakdown occur? Was there a gap in the system? This will facilitate an open discussion about what went wrong, what changes have been made to resolve the issue, and what kind of support that staff members need to make permanent changes. This committee can review all comments placed in a suggestion box by patients and discussed and even implement.
- Adopt a communication framework – Having structured communication is essential to improving patients’ views of the hospital and physician experience. Many healthcare entities adopt Studer’s AIDET guidelines for communicating with patients and their families, as well as each other, they are: Acknowledge | Introduce | Duration | Explanation | Thank you
Staff personally engages with everyone they encounter, introduce themselves, focus on information important to patients and visitors, provides an opportunity for questions, and show gratitude.
Positive patient experience is essential to the growth of any healthcare institution whether it is a hospital, academic or physician based.