Healthcare is one of the most critical industries that need to provide top-class experience, as it deals with human lives. Along with clinical excellence, patient satisfaction is indispensable. Personnel at hospitals, diagnostic chains, pharmacies and even the medical-device manufacturers need to keep the patient in mind while providing any services or developing any systems or equipment. It becomes more important to deliver the best patient experience in super-specialty hospitals as they provide a plethora of services to thousands of patients daily.
In this article, I would be sharing a few challenges that super-specialty hospitals might face in enhancing their patients’ experiences and how to overcome these challenges.
Patient experience in super-specialty hospitals
Problem 1: Collecting and Recording Patient Details and Medical History
It is an unpleasant situation for a patient or his attendant to stand in a long queue to complete all the formalities of patient registration and fill in the paper-work when visiting a hospital. Additionally, a patient comes in with a medical history of ailments and with the consultations that he has availed in the past. Manually recording all the patient’s details and his medical history could be a strenuous task for the staff and even for the patient. Further, the management might even lose track of the paper trail.
Using a tech-based solution or a tool, such as DocMate, Health.NET, and PaRIS, to capture all this data and store it in the databases will be helpful in enhancing patient experience at this touchpoint. Thus, the next time when the patient visits the same hospital, it would be easy to access and extract all the critical information.
Image courtesy: DocMate
Problem 2: Making the Frontline Staff More Patient-Centric
A hospital visit is one of the most traumatic moments for a patient. At this time, he needs to be comforted and treated with care in order to speed up his recovery process. But, if the staff members don’t sympathize and support him mentally, physically, and emotionally, it would result in a poor experience for the patient. Moreover, if the staff is indifferent or unempathetic towards his situation, it could result in a living nightmare for the patient.
For super-specialty hospitals that deal with such a large number of patients every single day, it is necessary to hire the right employees and provide them with soft-skills training sessions consistently. The management must also design KPI’s and KRA’s for the patient-facing staff around patient satisfaction indices.
Problem 3: Speeding the Discharge Process
After receiving treatment in a hospital, a patient needs to have a conducive environment that would help him recover speedily. It is obvious that he wouldn’t like to wait for a long time after treatment. If the clearing all dues and collecting reports take time from the management’s end, it might even have an adverse affect on the patient’s health, hampering the patient’s experience.
Using tools such as PaRIS and Q-Flow would help in speeding up the discharge process including due clearance, so that the patient need not wait for long to be with his close ones during the recovery phase. On the other hand, reports might take longer to be generated. But, if the reports are made available online for the patient to access them anywhere, it would be a huge vaue-add. This way, the patient or his attendant need not worry about collecting the reports.
Image courtesy: Wired
Problem 4: Delivering a Great Patient Experience Overall
Today, the healthcare industry is not just about the medical aid that patients receive. It is also about the experience that a patient has at every touchpoint in a healthcare institution. If a patient has an awful experience, he is sure not to return the same hospital again and might even spread a negative word-of-mouth. Thus, it is critical that every patient receives the best kind of experience.
Patient experience can be enhanced if a hospital is able to get the patient journey mapping right. Healthcare institutions can also enhance patient experience with the help of patient satisfaction surveys.
Patient feedback management involves various steps.
Since super-specialty hospitals deal with a huge number of patients every day, patient feedback management becomes is a major challenge. Collecting data manually, collating, and then analyzing the feedback would delay the whole turnaround time and the hospitals won’t be able to do service recoveries before the patient leaves the hospital. Also, the manpower required to conduct this task is very high. Additionally, the management could even lose some records.
With a patient feedback management system like Omoto, managing and acting on the patient feedback becomes extremely efficient and easy. Having worked with a leading super-specialty hospital in India, Omoto has successfully implemented a system that has been able to reduce the manpower in collecting and collating patient feedback by 1 person-months(pm). Also, the turnaround time has improved by 75%. Because of the automation of patient feedback management, the staff is now able to spend more time in interacting with the patients and understanding their needs and woes, instead of working on mundane tasks like entering patient feedback manually into Excel sheet. The auto-escalation feature of Omoto also helps in notifying concerns to the respective Heads of the Department as soon as a patient has a negative experience. This has helped them in improving their services and thus, the patient experience.