To truly embrace patient-centered care and improve the patient experience, hospitals need leaders who can combine humanized care and efficiency, according to a new survey.
Mobile healthcare communications firm Vocera Communications surveyed more than 100 senior healthcare executives and found that although the respondents said efficiency and patient experience are of great importance, the organization's actual staffing breakdowns don't reflect that they are true priorities.
Fifty-nine percent of the healthcare executives listed efficiency-related goals in their top three agenda items and 55 percent listed patient-experience-related goals. However, quality- and safety-related staff outnumbered patient-experience-improvement staff by an average of 3 to 1.
The survey also found healthcare providers could do much more to involve patients and families in improving the providers' patient experience strategies, despite nearly half the respondents saying improvement initiatives succeed or fail based on stakeholder engagement. Fewer than 1 in 4 said their organization's approach to improvement featured specific protocols for determining where they fall short on experience, communication or emotional needs.
Amid continued emphasis on patient experience, healthcare leaders must incorporate four best practices to move forward on patient experience while improving efficiency, according to the report:
- Governance/strategy: Healthcare organizations must have a clear plan in place that centers the variability of patient experiences
- Culture/performance management: Hospital leaders must have specific behavioral expectations and standards in place within their organizations' culture and performance management tools
- Infrastructure/operating model: To properly implement experience-improvement strategies, providers must first create the necessary organizational infrastructure
- Innovation/improvement: Healthcare leaders must identify specific gaps in efficiency and empathy during the care process and implement evidence-based best practices