It Takes Just One Minute to Improve the Patient Experience

Can one minute really make a difference in the patient and staff experience? St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System proved it can. They implemented the Jellyfish Health platform and it provided many consumer-like conveniences (like booking appointments online and remote check-in). However, it was the elimination of 1 minute of wasted time during the appointment process that made a world of difference.

Dave Dyell, President & CEO of Jellyfish Health and Nolan Hennessee, VP & CIO at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System recently sat down with Healthcare IT Today to talk about their collaboration to improve overall patient experience.

“For me, patient experience is all about trying make the health system as frictionless as possible,” commented Dyell early in the conversation. He pointed specifically to the early part of the patient journey – from finding a physician to booking an appointment to coming to the facility for the first time – as a particularly frustrating experience.

To illustrate the point, Hennessee chimed in with an amusing personal story.

“I went with my two teenage boys to a physician’s office,” recounted Hennessee. “We walked in and they handed us two clipboards [to fill out forms]. My sixteen year old looked at me and said ‘Dad, aren’t you the CIO? Don’t you guys have technology?’ That was the AHA moment. That sparked the interest in me to go and do something about this.”

That less-than-ideal experience eventually led to the implementation of Jellyfish Health’s platform that allows patients to book appointments online, fill out the necessary paperwork before they arrive, see where they are in the waiting queue and get notified when its their turn.

Prior to Jellyfish, the nurse would come from the back of the office, open a door and call out the name of the next patient. The patient (or parent + child) would then then gather up their belongings before heading to the exam room with the nurse. That whole process could take several minutes. “That’s a lot of wasted time for both staff and the patient” commented Nolan.

Now with Jellyfish’s technology, the patient gets a text on their phone (which they are probably looking at in the waiting area) that let’s them know the doctor will see them now. So while the nurse is heading out to meet them, the patient is already getting their gear together and heading for the reception desk.

That one minute might not seem like much, but it makes everything run smoother in the office and patients are pleasantly surprised to be ushered right in after they receive the notification.

“Think about that one minute that’s saved for each patient,” explained Hennessee. “A typical doctor sees about 25 patients a day and a typical office has 4 doctors. That’s two hours of time saved.”

The net result is that patients spend less time waiting and staff are maximizing their time with patients.

“It’s a great day when the CIO has physicians and other service line VPs knocking on your down wanting to adopt a new technology,” laughed Hennessee.

“If you think of a patient as a customer,” said Dyell making the analogy to the consumer-world. “And you believe you are providing a service to that customer, then loyalty is the number one driver you are looking for. You want a repeat customer who WANTS TO come back to you.” That’s when you know you are providing a good experience.

If you have a few minutes, you can watch our entire conversation below.

About the author

Colin Hung

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.