A healthcare organization has a lot of things to focus on. Besides providing the best care, there are major issues such as meeting the 30 Day Readmissions quota, improving patient experience, and maintaining a high standard of quality of care. These things lead into one another when a hospital has a high standard of care is given then it will have low readmission rates because patients will be well treated and well attended to thereby reducing the likelihood of them being readmitted.
Follow Up After Patients Have Been Discharged
One major way that a healthcare organization can ensure they meet the 30 Day Readmissions is to have a proper follow-up protocol after a patient is discharged. The first few days or weeks after a patient is discharged are very critical for the patient. The patient should be followed up on to ensure they take their medications, come in for check-ups and follow-up visits. When you call your patient simply to ask how someone is doing after an appointment, they take note. Patients should be called and asked whether their medications are working out, if they have questions or concerns, or if they want to change anything.
Set a High Bar
If a healthcare organization is determined to increase the quality of patient experience, then they must first set a high bar for all employees to follow. Members of the healthcare organization need to understand that there is a quality of care that must be maintained at all times. There should be a culture of high quality with constant improvement always in mind. There should be a code of conduct that does not tolerate mediocrity and subpar services. Setting the bar high also means helping employees understand their purpose. This means they should have an in-depth understanding of their responsibilities and also have knowledge of how these responsibilities play into the bigger picture of the healthcare organization.
Understand the Patients POV
Understanding the patients’ point of view will help doctors and nurses provide better quality care because they will be able to meet the patient’s needs at the point of origin and also be able to communicate better. One quality needed in order to understand a patient’s point of view is having empathy. For doctors putting themselves in a patient’s shoes requires empathy, and you should aim to take away as many of their pain points as possible so they can come back to you and get the care they really need. Also, understanding major needs such as how easy are it for patients to access the front door from their cars, how pleasant is the waiting room, and how calming is the wait room music or elevator music. Observe the environment through a patient’s eyes to decide whether it feels warm and welcoming. These things, though they seem small contribute to help patients have a great experience. Put yourself in a patient’s shoes. Have a staff member go through the appointment scheduling process. See how easy it is to get through the doors if you had a disability. Sit in the waiting room with a stopwatch and see how fast you get seen under normal circumstances
Make Sure Systems Work Properly
If you are going to refer a patient to a website, then you should make sure your site works properly and is easy to navigate. A healthcare organization should make sure it has systems that are of added help to the patients and not a burden. Patient portals should be easy to navigate and intuitive. The ease with which your systems and technologies can be used by patients will affect the quality of the patient experience.
Train Staff to Answer the Phone
This is particularly important for front desk staff or staff that regularly interact with patients on the phone. A lot of times a phone conversation can make the difference between a patient coming in and having a good experience and a patient having a bad feeling about the healthcare organization. If a patient calls in to ask about a service, they should be answered properly that they go ahead and book an appointment. No matter the level of care you provide, when patients perceive the front desk staff as rude or uncaring, or if they don’t respect their time they will have a sour opinion about the entire healthcare organization. Front desk staff should be trained to answer the phone in 3 rings or less, use an energetic, friendly, consistent greeting, speak positively of the doctor and services, never put someone on hold for more than a minute or so.
The little things truly matter to those people who are anxious about scheduling an appointment and want to make sure they are going to a friendly and organized healthcare organization.
Keep the Entire Facility Clean
This seems like an obvious point but healthcare organization needs to pay extra care to the cleanliness of the facility especially since things can become dirty pretty quickly if ignored. Hospitals should have proper cleaning services and active cleaning staff always on guard to keep the place pristine and sparkling clean. The hospital should smell clean and fresh, bedsheets and towels should always be washed clean and ironed. The floors should be mobbed and sparkling at all times and the doctors and nurses desks should be kept clean and arranged and not look a mess when patients are around. The small issues add up when patients just want to feel comfortable spending time in your office. From the first visit, people start to register their experience as part of their entire experience.