There is a lot of focus on patient satisfaction and experience in healthcare, and for good reason. Patient Experience is a key contributor to overall hospital quality measures and insurance reimbursements. In addition, patient satisfaction and experience have been linked time and again to improved patient outcomes. Although we sometimes view satisfaction and experience as the same thing, they are different. Both satisfaction and experience are equally important and require ongoing communication passed between caregivers, as well as from caregivers to patient. A famous physician from Canada, Sir William Osler, once said: “A good physician treats the disease and a great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”(1) The same applies to patient satisfaction and experience. Focusing on creating a satisfied patient who has a positive experience is the key for driving hospital quality and patient loyalty.
Satisfaction, Experience, and the Difference
Patient satisfaction is about a patient’s expectations for their care encounter.(2) Multiple people receiving the same care can have different expectations. Although those expectations are subjective, they are ultimately what determine whether or not the patient is satisfied or unhappy. Satisfaction helps drive existing consumer reviews, and is a key consideration for patients when choosing where to go for future clinical care. On the other side of the coin, Patient Experience looks at the big picture and measures objective data. The Patient Experience is defined by the Beryl Institute as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organizations culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”(3) The experience is a driver of future business, because the results are rated and published for consumers, who use this data as a key indicator of what kind of medical care they can expect with that organization.
Patient Experience & Quality Care Measures
Patient Experience takes a deep-dive approach to quality of care. By looking at the experience, organizations can assess whether or not something that was supposed to happen actually did or did not occur. The domains measured capture the patient experience with the HCAHPS surveys, which provide feedback to organizations related to important aspects of the experience. The data is benchmarked and published, and this visibility enables patients to choose where they go based on quality of care measures. In short, Patient Experience is what drives improved hospital quality and safety, resulting in gained stature for superior clinical care and outcome. The ultimate outcome is enhanced patient loyalty coupled with a clinical reputation that boosts new patient volume. Creating patient satisfaction that leads to an enjoyable experience leads to a better outcome. To accomplish this, caregivers need to interact with the patient in a way that makes the patient feel cared for and reinforces the quality of care provided. How is this accomplished? Communication, communication, communication.
It’s all about Meaningful Communication
Meaningful communication between patient and caregivers is often the common denominator for a positive patient experience. When patients understand they are safe and cared for, their anxiety decreases and perception of care is immediately elevated. The three standards for meaningful communication between caregiver and patient are consistency, personalization, and good, old-fashioned human empathy.
- Consistent Communication simply means standardizing interactions with a process and cadence that facilitates ongoing caregiver to patient communication.
- Personalized Communication suggests that caregivers become familiar with patients' likes, dislikes, and preferences to promote real conversations and patient feedback.
- Empathetic Communication has been shown in numerous studies not only to improve the patient experience, but to improve the caregiver satisfaction in their role.
In the end, it’s all about the communication; how often it occurs and how it is delivered. Creating a consistent feedback loop between the patient and caregiver will set the stage for a satisfied patient with an excellent patient experience.
It’s easier than you think...
CLARIFIRE HEALTH® improves communication between caregivers and patients with workflow automation. Our solutions were designed with the clinicians using them, ensuring the workflow makes sense for the caregivers using them. Improving meaningful communication is easy with access to historical information that promotes a personalized conversation. Using the most innovative technology available today, CLARIFIRE HEALTH is your own, personal caregiver communication assistant. We streamline the administrative burden so you can take back time for your patient care. Whether you are choosing Nurse Leader Rounding Application or another use case for our Workflow Automation that is configured to your needs, our experts will help elevate your processes to get the results you need.
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