Nearly all Americans will spend some amount of time in a hospital or doctor’s office at some point in the next year for either illness, injury, diagnostics, or preventative care. That being said, some think that patient satisfaction within the healthcare field is often quite low. There is hope that satisfaction will be improving as new changes are underway in an effort to improve the healthcare experience for patients. Take a look at a few changes that will be making big waves when it comes to the level of patient care in healthcare.
Better Customer Service
For far too long hospitals have been gauging the satisfaction of their patients as compared to that of patients in other medical facilities. This has set up a system that often leaves patients feeling dissatisfied with their experience. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) provides a standardized survey taking into consideration patient satisfaction in 21 different capacities of healthcare. This has inspired hospitals and doctor’s offices to improve their customer service practices. Instead of comparing themselves to other healthcare facilities, hospitals are looking at how hospitality based service industries treat their consumers.
Same Day Appointments
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are striving to aid busy people in their quest for health by offering same day appointments. Obviously, there are times when this is not possible depending on the level of care needed and the time of day you call, however this is the goal. Many clinics are already trying this method out. If you need an appointment, you simply call a phone number, give a brief overview of your symptoms, and you will be scheduled with a physician as quickly as possible.
Improved Care Transitions
Navigating healthcare at home once released from the care of a doctor can be confusing and difficult. Often patients end up feeling alone and frustrated, unsure of what is best to do. Healthcare facilities are striving to improve these care transitions through online medical charts for quicker results and follow up phone calls.
Increased Quality and Comfort of Care
Technological advances are paving the way to increased quality and comfort of care. Often when medical care is being sought, patients are at their most vulnerable state. This is why many healthcare institutions are striving to make necessary medical tests as comfortable as possible. One such innovation in this area is Philips new MRI system. This type of imaging is often very uncomfortable for patients and causes significant anxiety. The new system offers better imaging quality the first time around as well as visual and audio systems that can be easily personalized to each personal taste. This is just one example of many new and exciting technological advancements that are improving the patient experience.
Increased Patient Autonomy
Healthcare professionals are giving patients more autonomy when appropriate. Often patients do not feel adequately listened to when it comes to healthcare decisions. Some aspects of medical care are unpleasant and uncomfortable, but feeling a small sense of control over a situation can make patients feel a lot better. For example, childbirth is a tough and painful experience for women. Often women are put on their backs in bed and expected to deliver the baby without moving or changing positions. In actuality, movement feels better and often helps labor progress. Nurses, midwives, and doctors are listening more and offering more options. For example, many hospitals offer birthing aids, birthing tubs, and even birthing chairs to give women options.
Be on the lookout for some of these improvements over the next year or so, as healthcare institutions strive to improve the patient experience. Good and honest communication makes nearly any relationship more effective, so hopefully the implementation of these changes will leave both healthcare providers and patients better off. The information for this article was provided by the professionals of Solutionreach, who specialize in automated patient surveys.