Ways to Create Patient Hospital Relationship
Life survives on the strength of relationships and this is true for hospitals. Healthcare is essentially centered on patients and their relationship with them as their basic revenue is from patients, their satisfaction and good referrals. This is why hospitals are becoming increasingly “patient-centric” and doing their best to improve patient satisfaction through competent and courteous service.
The focus has now shifted from “curing to caring” and Patient Relationship Management has become the prime priority for hospitals. Healthcare consulting firms are being enlisted by hospitals to impart professional hospital quality management. Quality care in hospitals is no longer only about the treatment but involves patient satisfaction as well.
Here is an overview of the recommendations offered by an expert healthcare consulting firm on ways to improve patient satisfaction and strengthen the patient-hospital relationship.
Pointers to Improve patient satisfaction in hospitals
- Direct and personal engagement with patients
Patients expect “personal attention” at hospitals. Training the hospital and nursing staff to greet patients warmly and attend them courteously, is the first step in achieving this personal engagement. Next, use of the patient’s name by physicians while interacting with them, makes the patient feel special and cared for. Making direct eye contact with patients and reassuring them with kind gestures is something both physicians and nursing staff should follow. Listening to the patient’s needs fully without interruption gives the patient the feeling that his wants will be addressed. Such simple steps go a long way in ensuring success for the hospital in improving the patient’s satisfaction.
- Streamline workflow and coordination between departments
Most patients often arrive in hospitals in a state of trauma or anxiety. The hospital’s style of functioning should not escalate their tension by making them run here and there before they get their treatment done. A smooth and efficient workflow and seamless coordination between departments are required within the hospital to ensure this.
Perfect hospital quality management can be achieved with the use of a certified hospital management software (HMS) with salient features like appointment scheduling, inpatient and outpatient management, bed management, physician management, inventory management, EMR, medical billing, accounting integration etc.
With the use of such a competent hospital management software, issues such as conflict in appointments, excessive waiting time for patients, misinformation between departments, scarcity of beds etc. can be avoided. Efficiency in hospital management is vital to improve patient satisfaction.
- Improve the hospital environment
Patients need to feel comforted and cared for when they enter a hospital. Clean premises and a low noise level bring in a sense of relief and reassurance to the patient.
One in every 35 hospitals is prone to hospital sickness. The only way to avoid this is by providing a sterile and hygienic environment. Yet this disinfected or sanitized environment must not remind the patient of “medicines, drugs, and hospitalization”. Hospitals can think about bringing in sanitation in their premises with a sweet fragrance to clam the patients.
Hospitals must also operate at a noise level of less than 30db at night times in order to provide the peace and quiet required for a patient to recuperate.
Such proactive measures can help in improving the patient experience at a hospital.
- Upgrade diagnostic and therapeutic facilities.
Patients always want the “best in everything”, especially in clinical care. To provide this, hospitals must be equipped with the latest “state-of-the-art” diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. Radiology, hematology and urology testing, gynecological screening and laparoscopic surgical equipment have become mandatory today at every hospital. Hospitals should periodically train their physicians and lab technicians with the equipment usage to enable effective use of the equipment.
Hospitals should go a step further and provide logistics support for patients by providing appointment scheduling through mobile apps, furnishing scan reports on mobile and email, enabling patient access to EMR, etc. These along with upgraded diagnostic and therapeutic facilities provide a wholesome satisfaction to the patient.
- Enable quick resolution of complaints
Patients feel dissatisfied only when their woes are left unheard by the hospital. Complaints from patients must be taken seriously, addressed instantly and resolved immediately. Allocation of a separate “grievance addressal officer” and empowering them to take remedial action is required on the part of the hospital.
Obtaining regular feedback from patients on hospital ambiance, staff, service, quality of clinical care etc. is an extra step in ensuring patient satisfaction.
Patient satisfaction plays a pivotal role in strengthening the patient-hospital relationship. Implement the above steps to improve patient satisfaction and provide quality care at hospitals.