Providers can improve patient experiences and revenue. So much of what improves satisfaction is outside the clinical setting. West’s Insights and Impact Study titled “Prioritizing the Patient Experience” examines the gaps in patient value perception in the current healthcare marketplace.
West recently conducted a survey of patients providers to get more insights into what patients and providers value. With value based payment models and consumer focused health providers are increasingly motivated to provide high quality service. Today’s patient is more aware of choice in provider options and will shop around for a provider that matches their needs.
Patient experience using current technology and workflows is the space West has been working in for 25 years, including patient reminders for large hospital systems. As a company that specializes in patient experience, they used an outside firm to get insight about how well provider and patient perceptions were aligned. It was impressive to see an engagement company practicing what they preach and being proactive about feedback and improvement.
The most interesting takeaway from all of the statistics and research and report is that we know what the drivers of a good experience are. If you ask patients and providers what their motivation are answers are not usually aligned. This gap in what providers and patients value in terms of healthcare experience can cost providers revenue and patients. Patients value a high level of communication and transparency about cost of care more than providers believe.
Looking at the study, 78% of patients with a Chronic condition are likely to say that their provider cares about them as a person. Personally I’ve experienced this with my son that has a Chronic condition. We researched providers to ensure that we had similar values about communication and follow-up. Social Media groups like mom groups on Facebook have a lot of feedback about provider value. I know his provider gives great care and cares about him.
My Takeaways From the West Report
- Current Systems do not always create a seamless workflow. Smooth workflow and patient communications improve patient experience.
- Patients really want to know about what to expect in appointments. Sending a notification about costs including copays and obligations improves patient satisfaction.
- Wait times are a huge cause of concern for patients. Electronic messaging or text information about waits can improve patient satisfaction even in cases where delays cannot be avoided.
- Making payment as easy for patient as possible improves patient healthcare experience. A reminder about a bill with information about how to pay will improve practice revenue and patient experience.
- Simple workflow improvement and automation improves clinical outcomes and patient retention in an increasingly consumer aware healthcare world.
- Providers can focus on using the technology to better measure that for further strategy for improvement.
Well developed workflow can ensure that physicians have fewer patient surprises. Rather than waiting for an HCAP you can proactively collect data and brief surveys on specific topics before you are doing emergency triage. Contact recently discharged patients via an automated phone message or email. Have the questions tie back to HCAP survey questions so they can see what they will get.
What can systems do? Select Key measures for patient satisfaction.
What can physicians do? Tell patients that what to expect.
West is following their own advice and getting feedback about the value of communications and technology The survey is a connector for patients and for technology companies in the HealthIT space. Great ideas about Workflow improvement and best practice for business from West.