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4 Strategies to Improve the Patient Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2012

"For many healthcare workers, the patient experience is about clinical health outcomes, but for the healthcare consumer, it is about the levels of comfort and customer satisfaction that determine whether it is a positive patient experience," Short says. "Marketers need to be present and involved in designing the patient experience from parking, to driving away after discharge, to keep the voice of the healthcare consumer in the conversation."

3.Improve staff communication
Staff attitudes, from disengaged desk workers to pressed-for-time caregivers, has a profound impact on the patient experience. The first step toward correcting any unsavory behaviors is education. Many staff may not realize that the way they are acting has such an impact on the patient's satisfaction and perception of their care.

You can "inspire frontline patient care staff through simple, ongoing quality and satisfaction communications that praise their efforts and challenge them to improve," DeSanto said. Also, "develop simple training and motivational materials to help improve performance in areas that have low satisfaction ratings."

Furthermore, it's important to report individual successes and overall progress in improving the patient experience to staff members, as well as patients and the hospital community.

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3 comments on "4 Strategies to Improve the Patient Experience"


Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (5/17/2012 at 8:53 PM)
I agree that marketers should be involved, but they are often kept at arm's length from operations. Some of the most patient-centric organizations I've worked with have marketers taking the lead on the patient experience. Savvy marketers have seen the light and realize the strong connection between marketing and the patient experience. In fact, some forward-thinking healthcare marketers are insisting on conducting mystery shopping on service lines prior to launching any advertising campaigns. The rationale being that if the product (service) is not truly ready for market, they won't spend advertising dollars promoting a service line that doesn't live up to the promise.

Margaret Fleming (5/10/2012 at 1:26 PM)
Educating the patient is not communication. Harper's List once stated that 18 seconds! is the average time a patient may speak without being interrupted by a doctor. The patient's felt needs, unanswered requests, and real complaints are the other half of the equation. On my very worst days at the local hospital, NO ONE asked me how I was doing. By contrast, my primary doctor is an ongoing source of focused, effective care based on listening.

Erick Kinuthia (5/9/2012 at 3:22 PM)
Interesting topic. Every department in an organization has an obligation and a role to play in the organization. This is the same case for marketing staff in a hospital. They should aid the hospital to attain its targets through social media. Erick Kinuthia Team MDwebpro