Medical care has become a value-based industry where improving the patient’s health and their overall experience has started to matter. Previously, the only thing that mattered to hospitals and the care givers was for the patients to receive the right treatment and to be discharged soon. Once the patient was treated, they thought they had done their jobs. The result was that patients often felt neglected and depressed at the hospitals. This, however, is changing gradually as more and more hospitals understand the need to improve the mental well-being of the patients and to give them a great experience at the hospital.
How to assess the Patients’ Experience
It is important to know what the patient’s experience was like while their stay at the hospital. This information is quite important for the hospital to know, as this will enable them to learn more about how the culture, environment, the overall interaction and the health care experience turned out for the patient. They can have conversations with the patients or conduct surveys to gather the information.
How does it Impact the Patient?
Most hospitals take care of their patients and make sure they are looked after and all their medical needs are met. There are however, not many hospitals that would go out of their way to improve the patient experience at their hospital. People go to the hospital expecting medical care, which is the reason they are going to the hospital in the first place. However, when they get more than just medical care, this is what they would remember and what they would value. A patient who is admitted in the hospital is away from home, their families and their belongings and as such, they are also vulnerable and. A hospital that is communicative with them, taking care of their needs and treating them more on a personal level would make that patient feel more at ease and comfortable at such a place.
- a) This would help the patient to heal faster as they would be more comfortable in such surroundings.
- b) It would make the patient more communicative about how they are feeling and they would be able to talk to the doctors or the nursing staff in a better way if there is a level of trust between them.
- c) Having a pleasant experience in the hospital would also elevate the patients’ mood and make them happy. It would also cause them to forget about their illness and enjoy their time.
- d) If the patient has a good relationship with the staff and the doctors, they would also be more compliant with them and not be aggressive or stubborn.
Ways to improve the patient experience
There is no particular way of improving the patient’s experience, rather the best way is to make sure they are feeling cared for and they have everything they need. Communication is very important to understand what the patients have to say and what they want. The care givers and the attitude of the staff also plays a vital role in improving the patients over all experience of stay.
To make sure the patient has a positive experience at the hospital means you must have such caregivers who are not irritable and are there to help and assist the patients in a caring and friendly matter. The caregivers must also be motivated enough to do that, or else you would have a grumpy nurse attending to a patient which will definitely not turn out so well!
If the hospital has enough funds, they can develop other means of making the patients feel special. For example, in the maternity ward they can have gifts or special gestures for the new parents. In Lenox Hill hospital in New York City, the hospitals provide the new parents with a “date night” by taking care of their infant and giving them time along with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. This is a gesture which goes a long way for the new parents starting a very important journey of their lives. The Intermountain Healthcare in Utah is making patient rooms where they can have control over their surrounding and equipping the rooms with tablets, nurse summoning devices and temperature controls. Other hospitals are coming up with rooms with soothing music and aromatherapy. With such an experience at the hospitals, the patients will feel a sense of loyalty and with the health care industry being so competitive; it will make them a customer for life.