Measuring the Patient Experience

Nurse demonstrationThe American Medical Association writes about the move toward measuring patient experience by featuring hospitals who have implemented their own patient surveys and patient experience protocols. Communication and care coordination are noted as the two biggest opportunities for improvement.

As patients move through their treatments and procedures the transitions between providers can create risks for a wide range of errors and misaligned expectations. A new cadre of strategies and technology can help patients close the gaps. Clear transition plans, feedback loops, pre-check in procedures, and shared decision support are creating new opportunities to involve patient (and families) and improve communications.

Employee accountability to survey results and protocol compliance are equally important. An article in HealthLeaders Media shows how Cabell Huntington Hospital has implemented this kind of accountability in their culture from the top down. Through coaching, employees are finding a balance between clinical excellence and patient satisfaction. A service-driven culture is key. See Kristin Baird’s Model of Service Excellence to understand how culture of service performance and accountability is the foundation necessary to drive high scores in Patient Experience.

A blog on EHR Intelligence notes that rather than waiting for the HCAHPS surveys to be returned in the mail, healthcare organizations should be measuring the patient experience as they go along. Faster, more precise unit- or procedure-based can provide more relevant and actionable information for quality and process improvements.

We agree, which is why we designed our Patient Guidance System to have check-ins along the continuum of care. These quick surveys are important to get real-time feedback and maybe address a problem before it ends up on social media or other review sites later.

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