Eliminating Patient frustrations seems to be a constant battle for a great number of hospitals and health systems. Hospitals that focus on improving patient satisfaction gain significant advantage over competitors. Centralized patient access is the key for providing an ideal patient experience. Self-scheduling options keep common patient frustrations low such as confusion, getting transferred back and forth on the phone and waiting. SCI Solution’s infographic depicts the 5 Stages of Frustration, as well as the corresponding 5 Stages of Patient Satisfaction. Here they are.
Here are the five stages of patient satisfaction:
- Reassured: Patients can experience this stage after leaving their physicians office well-informed about the next steps required of them.
- Respected: Patients can feel respected when tests are scheduled at their preferred location.
- In control: Online scheduling tools and resources can significantly help a patient feel like they are in control of their care.
- Prepared: Text message appointment reminders can help a patient feel prepared and in control.
- Empowered:The end result of a satisfactory care experience.
Here the five stages of patient frustration:
- Scared and confused:This stage can occur when patients are unsure about what is expected of them.
- Frustrated:Patients can feel frustrated when they struggle to manage their care and be in control.
- Waiting:This happens when a patient has not been given sufficient information during the care process.
- Surprise: Patients can experience surprises in the form of unexpected charges.
- Angry: When a patient experiences this stage, they may consider switching providers.
Patient-centric care is becoming much more prevalent in hospitals and private practices alike, as the healthcare industry continues to prioritize the importance of positive patient experiences. Here are a few simple ways that you can improve your practice in order to achieve greater patient satisfaction.
- Patient education
Providing your patients with the information and tools they need in order to improve their health is crucial to the patient experience. A patient will feel like they’ve received more comprehensive care when they leave doctor’s office with more knowledge. On top of that, studies have shown that greater patient education leads to better patient adherence, which leads to improvements in both patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
- Improve hospital atmosphere
Hospitals are probably one of the least relaxing places to be. The noise, harsh lighting and sterile environment don’t really play a big role in encouraging rest and relaxation. Hospitals are beginning to upgrade their décor to create a warmer environment and resolve the issue of noise pollution.Nighttime noise levels above 55 decibels can disturb sleep and even boost heart disease risk, so hospitals should be at 30 or below. Noise levels have been reported at more than 100 decibels at night in some facilities according to some studies. Hospitals can innovate to help patients relax, by developing quieter equipment, giving nurses wearable devices, and so much more.
- Keep supplies on hand
This seems simple enough, but make sure that medical supplies are easily on hand and always accessible. Keep supplies that are used frequently in patient rooms and make sure you have a good system to keep these supplies stocked regularly. It is frustrating for staff and patients alike when the medical professional at point of care has to stop what they’re doing to find supplies that should be easily accessible.
- Personalize the patient experience
Patients want to be comfortable during their hospital stay, and expect their needs to be met. Giving them a personalized experience within your hospital can do just that. Concierge Care is a suite of mobile engagement solutions that meets the patient at their fingertips. The Inpatient Satisfaction program addresses the non-clinical, non-emergency needs of each patient with in-the-moment access to their own personal “Comfort Concierge.” Using a mobile device, tablet or laptop, patients can make real-time requests from a menu of services such as room temperature adjustment, requesting a hot meal, pet therapy or a visit from clergy.
Patients are often frustrated by the inability to communicate with their doctor in between appointments. Every hospital should use technology and build systems that open the lines of communication between the doctor and the patient. This will not only foster long-term patient relationships, but it will create better health outcomes by making it easy for patients to schedule future appointments and stay consistent with healthy behaviors.