In recent decades, the healthcare industry has evolved and improved in a number of striking and impactful ways. While the advancements in the field have been beneficial, there is still room for progress to be made in the healthcare space, especially as it pertains to the patient experience.
Having some guidance on how to improve the patient experience can be helpful for healthcare professionals and providers looking to innovate processes and create better forms of healthcare. Here are five strategies to improve patient identity, satisfaction, and care.
When it comes to receiving care, different individuals may require different things from their healthcare providers. When healthcare providers don’t take a patient’s background into account, it can easily result in a negative experience for the patient. A way to combat this problem and improve patient experiences is through the widescale adoption of the practice of transcultural nursing.
Transcultural nursing can be described as a nursing concept that posits that nurses should be mindful of and sensitive to the cultural backgrounds of patients in order to give them the best possible care. This is because those from various cultural backgrounds may interpret their illnesses differently, thereby altering their experiences.
By being aware of these cultural differences in perception and experience, nurses are better able to provide better care to their patients. In particular, transcultural nursing in remote areas has been shown to be extremely effective and beneficial in a number of ways.
Though some healthcare organizations have made attempts to incorporate the concept of transcultural nursing into their processes, this form of nursing has yet to be adopted on a wide scale. Healthcare organizations intent on improving the care that patients receive and improving their levels of satisfaction have the opportunity to do so through the utilization of this powerful, effective, and empathetic nursing practice.
In today’s rapidly evolving world, healthcare has become to take advantage of technology in new ways to improve patients’ experiences of receiving care. One of these areas which have been extremely effective in streamlining processes and improving patient access to healthcare is the practice and implementation of telehealth.
Put simply, telehealth is the practice of utilizing electronic technology to make healthcare services available to patients. For example, whereas patients traditionally have always had to go into a doctor’s office in person to be treated, telehealth is the practice of making it possible for patients to communicate with their doctors over a video call. As one can imagine, this has made receiving healthcare services far more convenient for patients.
Other examples of telehealth include viewing lab results on an online portal and having therapy sessions over the phone. The broad and effective applications of telehealth make it a ripe practice for healthcare organizations looking to make receiving care easier and more streamlined for patients. This being the case, a deeper investment of resources towards developing and crafting new ways for patients to engage with their healthcare providers electronically can help organizations become more patient-friendly.
Hospitals can use touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient to prevent medical identity theft even during telehealth visits. RightPatient uses patients’ photos to accurately identify their medical records, both inside and outside hospitals. When using telehealth services, patients can simply take a selfie and a photo of their driver’s license to provide photos – RightPatient automatically compares the photos to verify the patient’s identity – it’s that easy!
One of the biggest factors that affects patients’ experiences of treatment and healthcare services is the level of communication they have with their healthcare providers. When patients feel like the doctors and nurses that they interact with aren’t communicating clearly with them, it can leave them feeling unsatisfied. In addition, patients are less likely to follow the advice of doctors when doctors communicate poorly, showing that the ways that medical professionals communicate can have a substantial impact on health outcomes.
Along with being able to affect health outcomes, the way that health workers communicate with patients can also affect a patient’s willingness to return to a particular medical provider. Bearing this in mind, health organizations intent on prioritizing the needs of patients must ensure that their staff is communicating clearly and effectively on a consistent basis.
Health organizations can improve the communication of their healthcare workers in a number of ways. These tactics can include anything from in-depth training sessions with communication specialists to surveying patients after every interaction with a healthcare worker to determine which communication practices are ineffective.
However one chooses to go about it, it’s clear that good communication is one of the most significant factors that healthcare organizations need to prioritize in order to improve a patient’s experience of healthcare visits and treatments.
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
For many people who don’t live close to a medical facility, receiving care can be a difficult process. While doctors may be able to provide some care through digital means, there are occasions when doctors will have to see patients in person. A great way to make receiving care and surgeries more convenient and enjoyable for patients is through the utilization of ambulatory surgery centers.
Ambulatory surgery centers are facilities housed in ambulances that function in the same capacity as an operating room within a hospital or medical facility. In ambulatory surgery centers, surgeons are able to perform diagnostics and surgeries on patients in a timely manner without patients having to travel to a specific location. Given the increased convenience and streamlined nature of this form of care, many are beginning to view ambulatory surgery centers as the future of ambulatory care.
While there have been some cases in which ambulatory care has been utilized by some organizations, it has yet to take off as a common practice among most healthcare organizations. The normalization of ambulatory surgery centers has the power to greatly increase patient satisfaction by providing care more efficiently and conveniently.
In particular, the practice of utilizing ambulatory surgery centers can help healthcare organizations provide better care and health outcomes to those they treat in rural areas that live a considerable distance from the closest hospital.
Providing Care Beyond Facilities
While making a patient’s experience within facilities enjoyable is a crucial aspect of providing patients with satisfying care, health organizations intent on providing truly amazing care will also focus on looking beyond their facilities. By following up with patients consistently and looking at treatments as continuous processes, healthcare providers can help their patients have better experiences and health outcomes.
Within healthcare, a culture has developed in which there is a distinct barrier between healthcare providers and patients outside of facilities. As we delve deeper into the future, more and more healthcare organizations are beginning to see the value of maintaining a meaningful connection with patients outside of facilities. Making it easier for healthcare professionals to follow up with patients and create an open dialogue can drastically improve patient satisfaction.
Thankfully, providing care beyond facilities has begun to be adopted by more healthcare facilities, professionals, and organizations and is becoming a normalized practice in the healthcare space. It’s more than likely that the practice of consistently following up with patients will soon be synonymous with healthcare in all of its varied forms.
Putting Patients First
While the healthcare industry has helped many people over the years, healthcare providers and facilities have not always strived to put patients’ needs first. In recent years, this has begun to change and more healthcare organizations are prioritizing patients’ needs and are pouring more resources into improving how they provide treatments.
Soon, it’s more than likely that more healthcare organizations will take advantage of new technologies and practices to further improve their ability to serve and treat patients, crafting a more enjoyable patient experience and more effective forms of care.