Improving Patient Satisfaction: Tips from the Wayfinding Industry
How to improve patient experience through the use of communication and technology
Improving patient satisfaction is the goal for every hospital and medical facility in the nation. In order for care-giving institutions to make progress on the HCAHPS, organizations must take a broad approach to meet their objective. The best way to do this is by creating organizational wide changes that will improve institutional scores and their rates of referral. We recommend taking a 3 pronged approach to the subject: deliver services on time, improve employee to patient communications, and improve the functionality and efficiency of systems used for patient care. Once these issues are addressed, we are confident that an institution will be well on its way in improving overall patient experience.
It is important for hospitals to deliver service with their patient’s schedule in mind. Often the patient and their needs are lost somewhere in large medical systems. However, a provider should always have the needs of the patient first and foremost in their minds. Hospitals should consider ways to improve delivery systems for communications with patients about lab results, and seek to understand what causes may belie long wait times. Hospitals should address these problems, all the while working to foster an understanding of patient needs and how they can best fulfill them.
Improving communications between care givers and patients is key to maintaining employee satisfaction. We recommend training employees on how to speak with patients in a way that offers comfort and reassurance. Every employee needs to understand how to best deal with patient concerns and complaints. The right way to address patient concerns can be brought up in employee training. Most patient complaints stem from a lack of proper communication. With a little work and some employee training, most care facilities stand to make great strides in this area.
Systems for Patient Care
Patient wait times and improved communications could be addressed through an inventory and systematic check of the institutional systems that are currently in place to handle patient needs. From call buttons to patient emails, most institutions could benefit from a long hard look at the efficiency of their current systems. Hospitals should think of patient dissatisfaction as an opportunity for improvement, and look to wayfinding systems and other advanced technology in the consideration of how it may improve the efficiency of their institution.
For medical institutions with the desire to improve patient experience, there are many options for new systems that may improve communication, navigation, and aid in efficiency. Although, these systems are important, they should not be implemented at the cost of friendly customer service; a smile and a kind word are always the best ways to improve patient satisfaction.