Patient experience efforts pay off with long-lasting relationships

With financial incentives for hospitals increasingly tied to patient satisfaction scores, it makes sense for hospitals and healthcare facilities to place patients' healthcare experience at the center of their policies and procedures, according to Executive Insight.

Institutions with high patient satisfaction scores, as assessed by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, are also the most profitable, according to the article.

But most importantly, the article notes, hospitals that make an effort to improve the patient experience actually enhance performance across all departments and the goodwill and reputation in their communities. 

When healthcare providers and personnel deliver excellent care and provide patients and their families with optimal experiences, they form connections with patients and the community. Studies have shown that what patients really want most from healthcare providers is a sense of connection and simple requests, such as uninterrupted sleep and for personnel to look them in the eye when they speak to them.

"From pre-admission to post discharge, each patient interaction with an employee or physician creates a lasting impression about the hospital," wrote R.J. Salus, director of patient experience at California's El Camino Hospital. "These opinions inform future decisions about where to seek care and recommendations to others." Additionally, Salus said, hospitals that provide excellent customer experiences are also the best work environments, resulting in low employee turnover and increased institutional efficiency.

El Camino Hospital has improved patient engagement and care by building a patient-centered communication system. The hospital uses mobile technology during leadership rounds, implemented a tool that allows real-time patient feedback and conducts rounds with hospital staff. The organization also tracks issues referred to departments to ensure they are quickly resolved. 

"Our patients think of El Camino Hospital as a member of their community--a hospital where they have access to the best possible care, delivered in the most personal way possible," Salus wrote.

To learn more:
- read the article