UK clinic highlights hospitals' role in patient experience, satisfaction

A cancer survivorship clinic in a UK hospital proves the significant role hospitals play in patient experience and satisfaction, The Guardian reports.

Hammersmith Hospital, a 349-bed facility in West London, established the clinic to address the effects a cancer diagnosis has on patients regardless of outcome, according to the article. The clinic manages cancer patients' non-surgical needs and worries, and provides patients with a "concerns checklist" they can use to give feedback about physical, spiritual, practical, emotional or family/lifestyle-related problems.

"In the old days you would give patients chemo and then chuck them out the door, and that's it, that would be the end of your responsibility," Sarah Blagden, M.D., who works at the clinic, told the Guardian, "but now we are realizing that we have to rehabilitate people as well."

When Blagden talked to chemotherapy patients during follow-up clinics, she realized "they were totally miserable," and the hospital was not making enough of an effort to find out how patients were doing beyond the status of their cancer, according to the article.

Efforts to go directly to the source and identify what patients need from their providers are essential to improving patient satisfaction and care delivery. An April survey found patient satisfaction with hospital care has fallen behind that of doctors' offices, due primarily to low scores for emergency services, despite high rankings for inpatient and outpatient care. In August, a survey by the Minnesota Department of Health determined patient experience surveys could provide guidance to lower-performing clinics to improve care by helping to establish a statewide standard, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

In a July post on Hospital Impact, Anthony Cirillo, president of Huntersville, N.C.-based Fast Forward Consulting, suggested using more personal information in electronic health records (EHR) to promote an empathy-based approach to patient experience and satisfaction, similar to that of the clinic at Hammersmith. When used in a sales setting, he wrote, this approach "led to genuine friendships to the point that the sales person was less sales person and more trusted advisor."

To learn more:
- here's the Guardian article