3 ways to improve your patients’ experience and add value to your worklife

Susanna Kahr

Improving the healthcare consumer experience is the first or second strategic priority in 2019 for 69 percent of respondents to a recent survey from Sage Growth Partners, according to a report from Healthcare Innovation. This eye-opening survey collected data from 100 healthcare C-suite executives in U.S. hospitals. It serves as a reminder that workers in the healthcare industry can make changes that not only benefit the patients, but also add value to their worklife. With that in mind, here are three tips to help you make a difference.

Implement Technology Solutions

Approximately 93 percent of organizations are using telephone calls to improve the patient customer experience, according to the survey, while 90 percent have deployed electronic health record (EHR) software. Patient portals are now used by 83 percent of respondents. However, the majority of hospitals and other organizations are not using more advanced technology. Just 35 percent working with a customer relationship management or CRM platform and merely 39 percent using text messaging to communicate with patients.

“I get to work with patients over the phone to answer questions and schedule appointments. In this line of work I get the opportunity to bring relief and comfort to the patients I interact with.” – anonymous WVU Medicine 

Invest in Staff Training

To learn how to better interact with patients, 70 percent of respondents said they have launched more staff and physician training. Of the 100 professionals who responded, 32 indicated that they have hired a C-suite executive whose only purpose is to improve the experience for all healthcare consumers. If you do not have someone on staff to look after the patient experience, now would be a good time to recruit a dedicated individual for this purpose.

Develop a Patient Navigation Program

About 57 percent of respondents have created a patient navigation program, and most of their organizations already say that improving the patient experience is their top priority. Setting up a patient navigation program allows for better outcomes, a boost in engagement, improved care plan adherence and more patient retention.

“What I like about my company is the patient centered care and the employee centered management.” – anonymous employer review at Hospital Corp of America 

Patient Empowerment

In addition to following these three tips, you will want to consider empowering patients more, especially when it comes to managing their personal information. “We talk a lot about wanting patients to be activated and empowered and educated,” according to former emergency room physician Pat Salber, MD in a report from PWC. “Then we put barriers in the way of them getting educated, starting with not having easy access to their own data.” Easier access to their medical data will definitely empower patients.

A Fulfilling Career Path

For many individuals, working in the healthcare industry is the ideal path for a fulfilling career, especially because of the many new options to help others. For example, “Healthcare is at a transformational point. New business models/ trends like value-based care, telehealth, and consumerization are creating rapid innovation within the industry. This means that there are numerous opportunities to improve the quality of patient care and the overall patient experience,” according to Ted Chan, CEO CareDash.

“I enjoy providing care for my patients.” – anonymous employer review at Memorial Hospital and Healthcare Center

And your personal happiness should be a deciding factor when you plan your career. “Contrary to popular belief, “it does pay to work a job that makes you happy,” noted Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics. “Living paycheck to paycheck without job satisfaction can take a toll on your performance as well as your overall well-being. With this in mind, what better career than one in the healthcare industry? You’re making a difference to the lives of others, working towards the greater good, and more often than not, reap the rewards of your labors.”

What Direction Is Your Career Heading In?

Making an effort to improve the patients/consumer experience is a top priority for anyone contemplating a career in healthcare. If you already know that you want to work in a field that prioritizes helping others, it will be essential to pay attention to making the experience better for each patient you support. This is the case no matter what your specific role in the healthcare organization.

 

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