Hospitals are businesses, there’s no denying it. Despite their commitment to helping people, most hospitals wouldn’t survive if they didn’t make profits. On average, around 6-9% of hospital revenue in the United States is pure profit. Even in countries with nationalized healthcare, hospitals have to earn money.
And, like all businesses, hospitals have to treat their customers well. In a healthcare setting, customers are called patients, but they are customers all the same. It is very important that hospitals improve their patient experience so that their customers go away feeling satisfied.
This post will explain how hospitals can improve their patient experience:
One of the most uncomfortable parts about going to a hospital for many people is having to sit in hospital chairs for long periods of time, waiting to be called. If you are in charge of managing a hospital, then you should work with suppliers of healthcare furniture that offer chairs that don’t hurt your patients’ backs. This is only a small change, but it is a meaningful one and will most certainly improve the patient experience.
As mentioned previously, waiting for long periods of time in hospitals can be a real chore. Unfortunately, it’s often unavoidable. You should try to streamline your hospital’s appointment system though so that everybody is seen as soon as possible. It’s not uncommon to visit hospitals and to be told that there is a long waiting time, but then to discover that nurses and doctors are fraternizing, not working, and sitting around talking. The shorter your hospital’s waiting times are, the more satisfied that people will be with the experience that you provide.
Another problem that a lot of patients encounter when they go to the hospital is a shortage of hospital beds, meaning that they aren’t able to get their own room, or even space on a hospital bed when they need to be admitted. The lack of hospital beds also means that when patients are in the process of recovering from surgery or injuries, they have to be rushed out of the door. You should never rush your patients out unless they are seriously and unnecessarily overstaying their welcome. Make sure that you invest in enough hospital beds, and going back to the first section, make sure that they are comfortable and high-quality.
Make sure that the experience that you offer is one that’s patient-centered. The more patient-centered your hospital experience is, the happier they will be. People don’t come to hospitals to be ignored; they come to hospitals so that they can have their health problems addressed. Make sure that your staff works closely with people to deliver a high-quality service, giving them the care that they need, and doing everything that they can to reduce the stress and burden on them that’s inherent in every trip to the hospital. A patient-centered hospital is a successful hospital, there’s no doubt about it.
When it comes to employing staff, do your best to employ the most qualified and experienced ones that you can. The worst thing that you can do is to introduce staff to your hospital who aren’t qualified and who haven’t got previous clinical experience. It can be a very big mistake doing this because it can result in the introduction of underqualified and potentially negligent people. At the very least, make sure that anyone you give work to has some kind of university-level qualification and preferably has previous experience working in a hospital setting. You can also ask them to leave reviews on your Google page.
Patient surveys should be distributed amongst patients, to gauge how they found their experience at your hospital. You can send surveys to people after they have gone home, via SMS. Most hospitals require patients to register their mobile numbers with them as they are checking in. If you are going to use patient telephone numbers for marketing and survey purposes, then make sure that you get their express approval first. Unsolicited messages can get you into a lot of trouble. Patient surveys help you to determine what your hospital is like from a patient’s perspective and how your staff treats people.
Employee engagement is essential if you want to achieve success. The best way to achieve employee engagement is by cultivating a culture of openness in your hospital, encouraging staff to speak out if they feel as though there is a problem or if they are uncomfortable with something. Additionally, engaging with your employees through training will also help them to improve at their jobs. The better your staff is at their jobs, the more likely they are to offer a better experience to patients. Make sure to hold routine training sessions with your staff, so that you can improve their skills and engage with them.
Hospitals are big places. It’s impossible for your staff to be able to come and see you personally every time that there is an issue, with so much going on. The best way for your staff to report problems is to report them using software. You should introduce reporting software that allows your staff to notify you if they have any problems or concerns. The software that you select should give your staff the ability to traffic light their problems, with red being the most severe, amber important but not urgent, and green least important.
Lastly, make sure that you communicate strongly with your staff, and in turn, ensure that they communicate with patients. One of the biggest problems that many people face when they go to a hospital is that they aren’t communicated effectively. A lack of communication on a doctor or nurse’s part can make it very difficult for patients to understand what’s going on with their health. Improving your staff’s communicative skills is definitely worth doing. You can do this by training them to communicate, encouraging them to be vocal about their problems, and by communicating with them yourself as often as possible.
If you are in charge of managing a hospital, then you need to make sure that the experience offered to your patients is unrivaled. The better your patient experience, the better your reviews will be, and the more people will attend your hospital for treatment.