November 18, 2022
What Makes a Great Patient Experience?
A great patient experience goes beyond the walls of a healthcare institution. The idea is to encourage healing by creating a safe and empathetic environment for all patients associated with the hospital, even after they are discharged. Multiple medical institutions have been focusing on creating a positive patient experience. The primary elements that contribute to a positive experience for a patient are a sense of autonomy, cost-efficiency concerning medical expenses, and availability of the concerned healthcare staff. Feeling heard, prioritized, and respected, automatically contributes to building a great patient experience. Institutions need to actively work on the various elements that contribute to their patient’s experience.
A Sense of Autonomy
A positive experience is crucial for a patient to be diagnosed and treated appropriately. Feelings of autonomy in patients contribute to building trust with healthcare practitioners, leading to better conversations, diagnoses, and, consequently, treatments. According to this study by Shou University in Taiwan, patients who were made to feel like they had autonomy experienced higher satisfaction during their treatment. The idea is to enhance communication between the doctor and patient encouraging the latter’s active participation in their healing.
Cost-effective Medical Treatments
Hospital bills around the world are one of the primary obstacles to patient satisfaction. If a patient feels like their time in admission was not worth their experience, it can affect their overall satisfaction. While medical insurance helps, it may not cover all the costs of being admitted to a tier-one hospital. For example, if a patient needs to be monitored for a few days, it can happen remotely.
The advancements in remote patient monitoring allow for quick updates and responses from the medical team to tackle any urgent issues. This can help the patient cut costs on transportation and admission as well. Moreover, this directly creates a positive impact on the doctor-patient relationship, leading to stronger trust and better decision-making in the long run. Digital patient monitoring also facilitates complying with medication prescriptions which can further reduce long-term expenses for the patient.
The words and actions of the healthcare staff may unintentionally affect the patient’s experience. To deliver a good patient experience, it is important to notice their feelings regarding their time in the institution. Some key sentiments that guide patient experience are the elements of individuality, comfort, comprehension, and prioritization. When a patient feels like they are being seen as an individual and that efforts are being made to make their treatment as comfortable as possible, they deem it a good experience.
A patient that has had a great experience in a medical institution may feel better equipped to actively participate in their treatment and recovery. Moreover, this also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, encouraging them to be aware and take responsibility for themselves.
However, creating a positive patient experience may not just be limited to the actions of the healthcare specialists. The infrastructure, technology, meals, and engagement of the hospital staff can all affect the patient’s experience. It is a collaboration between the various teams of a healthcare organization to ensure that the patient feels good with and without it. The best way to go about it is to read the customer’s needs and act accordingly since one size may not fit all.