The US healthcare sector and healthcare providers are in a state of flux but are hospitals really listening to their patients or too caught up in the rapid pace of change to hear their voices?
The pace of change across healthcare is accelerating, so hospital priorities are shifting. Healthcare providers are continually striving to keep up with emerging and new technologies, compliance regulations, rising costs, competition, reimbursement models and financial stability.
But as resources are becoming increasingly stretched across the industry, questions must be asked:
- What about the experience of patients being treated in your hospital?
- Is your hospital listening to the voice of your patients?
- Do hospitals truly desire to see things from the viewpoint of their patients?
- Has the business of healthcare excluded the patient?
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know.
But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
The Dalai Lama
If healthcare providers listen, it is possible to learn something new!
A hospital is a busy place, with complicated processes. The goal is always to provide quality care in order to achieve the best clinical outcome for the patient.
Is there something we are missing?
How do we communicate with our patients?
During the admission process, details are gathered relating to the patient’s demographic information, such as, name, date of birth, address, insurance, next of kin.
Nurses, physicians, and ancillary staff gather yet more information, asking questions such as ‘What is the problem?’ and ‘Where is the pain?’ They request information on the patient’s history, take vitals, carry out examinations and order testing. Decisions are made around a diagnosis and treatment. Does the patient require observation? Is it necessary for them to be admitted? Can their health issue be addressed in the Emergency Department?
Patients and their families often wait and watch, experiencing many emotions and concerns, often feeling very anxious, while they see many different staff.
During this tumultuous time, the patient’s clinical condition and physical well-being is rightly the priority. But the constant tests, questions and examinations can be overwhelming.
Throughout diverse and numerous processes, hospitals strive to create the optimum patient experience.
But how do front line staff and hospital leaders know if they are successful in their efforts to achieve a positive patient experience?
HCAHPS surveys offer some insight but they are delivered post discharge, and provide only a retrospective snapshot of your hospital’s performance.
Our questions to healthcare providers are:
- Is that TOO LATE?
- Would it be better to engage patients and their families at POINT OF CARE?
- Are we open to LISTENING? LISTENING and ACTING as it happens?
- Would that add to our understanding of the PATIENT EXPERIENCE in REAL TIME?
Patients and families want to be heard- they have stories to tell and their experiences to share, whether they are good or bad.
Hospitals must do a better job of LISTENING.
They must HEAR patients and their families because those patients and their families have amazing INSIGHTS TO SHARE.
Furthermore, listening to our patients and families demonstrates respect and a level of care to give patients control at a time when they feel at the most vulnerable and ‘out of control’, ie, when they are ill.
What tools can a hospital provide to patients to accomplish this goal?
While survey tools are available, these are ineffective to gain the vital insight every healthcare provider needs into the patient experience.
- iSUGEZT is a simple to use, hospital-specific, feedback tool which can be provided upon admission, and provides patients and families with a confidential way in which to communicate with hospital leadership in real time.
- iSUGEZT empowers patients and their families. It enables them to tell their stories and share their experience. It helps to build human connections between provider and patient.
- iSUGEZT allows patients and families to make suggestions for improvements, praise staff members for their care, or critique a process.
- iSUGEZT gives patients and families a voice, and allows the hospital to address any concerns and improve perceptions immediately – and before patient discharge and the completion of surveys and online reviews.
- iSUGEZT delivers vital feedback into the patient experience.
- iSUGEZT enables hospitals to show they want to LISTEN and HEAR to the voices of patients and their families.
- iSUGEZT builds trust and a strong provider-patient relationship.
- iSUGEZT is transformational and enhances the patient experience.
- iSUGEZT makes sense!