A patient does not visit a hospital for fun or leisure; visiting a hospital could be one of the most traumatic experiences for anyone. To add to that, if the patient has an unpleasant experience, it might have an adverse effect on the patient’s recovery process and even his life. The patient is sure to never return to the same hospital, and even talk about this poor experience to his friends and family. Thus, it is every healthcare institute’s primary responsibility to ensure that the patient is being taken care of physically, mentally, and emotionally. In order to achieve this, hospitals must get their patient journey mapping right.
For mapping the patient’s journey accurately, it is necessary to identify the right touch-points at which the patient interacts with the system. Understanding the patient’s needs will help in identifying these touch-points. So, I would like to share a few questions that patients seek answers to before choosing a hospital they would want to visit.
Is it easy to get the information necessary to reach the right hospital?
In today’s digital era, all of it comes down to having easy access to all the required information. When a patient needs to choose a certain hospital or consult a certain doctor, he would straightaway surf the internet for the website, contact details, address, names of consultants, and reviews. If the patient doesn’t find the right information, he is unlikely to visit that hospital. For example, patients must be able to access information about doctors that visit that particular hospital and their visit timings easily. Thus, hospitals must ensure that patients have a good experience even before they step into the premises. This would include regularly updating the hospital website with relevant information, responding to patient feedback online, and ensuring that critical information is available easily to the patients. For instance, it is important that the contact number for appointment booking or the emergency is accessible to patients without them having to search for it.
Is the appointment booking process hassle-free?
No patient desires to be put on hold or stand in long queues for booking appointments with a doctor. He would not feel any better if the registration and payment processes are tedious. Imagine how patients would feel when they have to worry about something as trivial as registration before even getting the proper aid. Thus, hospitals must ensure that the transition from appointment-booking to registration to payment is effortless, seamless, and quick. This cancels out at least one thing, among the others, that a patient has to worry about.
Are the hospital staff members easy to approach?
When in a hospital, patients need to seek the assistance of the staff members. For instance, a patient might need help for visiting multiple departments, arranging for a wheelchair, contacting the on-call doctor, or even looking for a restroom. If the staff is unresponsive towards his queries or woes, the patient doesn’t receive the necessary help and the expected care. This will lead to the patient having an unhappy and dissatisfied experience. Thus, the frontline employees, along with the doctors and the staff of any hospital must be very empathetic, caring, and highly approachable, among other skills that they must possess.
Is the patient care trustworthy?
It is imperative that hospitals establish a high level of trust with their patients. Before visiting a hospital, a patient would want to read reviews from other patients, whether the hospital and its consultants provide satisfactory patient care, adhere to government norms and guidelines of healthcare, and the like. When a friend or a family member recommends a certain hospital to the patient, he is most likely to visit it. Thus, hospitals must ensure that they provide an unmatched experience to all their patients.
How long would it take to leave the hospital after receiving the treatment?
A hospital is no park or hangout spot. Honestly, it is one of the most gloomy places anyone could ever visit. No patient would like to stay in the hospital for long. It is important for him to leave the premises as soon as he has received the necessary care and medical aid. So, the hospital needs to ensure that the processes post-treatment such as discharge from the hospital, collection of reports, and billing and clearing dues are taken care of without any delays.
As a patient, are there other concerns of a patient that a hospital must address? Let us know!