Improving patient experience on the cheap

Hospital leaders are always on the lookout for ways to improve patient experience. While some hospitals opt to improve patient stays with high-end, hotel-style amenities, such upgrades aren't cheap.

There are, however, easy, low-cost ways for hospitals to improve experience for patients and their families, notes an article in HealthLeaders Media

Simple, inexpensive suggestions include open visiting hours, reduced parking rates and battery-charging stations in waiting rooms, writes author Marianne Aiello.

Meanwhile, many hospitals are catching on to the concept, making small changes in the hopes of making a big difference in patient experience and satisfaction.

In January, for example, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics system slashed parking prices, making the first 30 minutes of parking free, up from 15 minutes, and decreasing their maximum daily parking fee from $18 to $10.

Parking fees can be a major driver of hidden costs that frighten patients away from preventive healthcare, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

"If you are able to offer even a small discount, patients and their family members will appreciate the few extra bucks that stay in their pockets," Aiello writes. "And that appreciation just might be reflected in your patient experience scores."

To learn more:
- here's the article
- read the study

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