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Every patient that comes into contact with your hospital goes on a long and complex journey or ‘experience’. There’s the initial meeting or consultation, the education and choice of treatment, the procedure itself and then the recovery / aftercare and of course the billing. Getting everything right across the entire patient journey is an enormous task and requires meticulous measurement and analysis from a wide range of patients over a long period of time. But if you’re right at the beginning of this process in your hospital, here’s 5 quick win areas you might like to focus on first.

The meet and greet – part 1
This is the phase where your (potential) patient walks into your medical establishment. It’s all about first impressions. A bright, clean reception area, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff on the reception desk, clear signage taking the patient or visitor to the correct department, a comfortable and pleasant waiting area, up to date reading material and accurate information on waiting times.

The meet and greet – part 2
As a patient, meeting a doctor can be a nerve wracking experience. For you, being in a hospital is a perfectly normal thing. It’s your job, it’s where you feel comfortable, you’ll have friends there and you’ll understand how things work. That’s not the case for your patient. They’re going to be worried about their condition, worried if they’re going to be taken seriously, worried if you have the knowledge and skills to meet their needs, worried about treatment options… in fact – there’s probably not a lot that they aren’t going to be worried about. It’s the job of the Doctor and any other medical staff involved in the care of that individual to make them feel at ease and that comes from clear communication about who you are and what they can expect and being personable, empathetic and human.

Cleanliness
It’s an obvious one and shouldn’t really need to be on the list at all, but it’s amazing how many patients report that the medical center or hospital they have visited is not up to scratch when it comes to cleanliness. This is a topic that’s easily ‘spreadable’ through social media as you can guarantee your patient will take photos on their smartphone and publish them to their followers… who of course are going to retweet / share the news leaving the reputation of your establishment in tatters. Cleanliness along with patient safety has to be at the top of every hospitals agenda.

The food
‘High quality’ and ‘wide choice’ are definitely not the terms used to describe what most hospitals have on offer for hungry day patients and visitors as you can read in this article. Unfortunately, the financial incentives offered by fast food franchises are often too much for hospitals to easily turn down but that doesn’t mean alternatives shouldn’t be sourced and offered as well. Inpatients in particular need a healthy and well-balanced menu which includes fresh fruit and vegetables and genuinely interesting meal options to stop them reach out to less healthy, fast food alternatives.

The bill
The hospital bill is never going to be something that your patient will look forward to however you can at least make the experience of reading it more palatable. Endless rows of meaningless medical jargon and in-house codes are no good for the patient. A complicated structure and reams of small print are not going to win you the “hospital invoice of the year” award either. Keep your bills as simple as can be and where needed, consider including a handy ‘how to read my bill’ guide.

So there you go 5 quick wins to help you improve the patient experience.  Here at HCXP – we live and breathe the patient experience and we think you should too. Our unique tablet-based electronic surveys allow your patients to provide direct feedback about every aspect of your hospital. Collected data can be instantly compiled, analysed and even bench-marked against the national average in seconds.

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