Patient Experience 101: The Future of Healthcare

Guest post by Abhinav Shashank, CEO & Co-founder, Innovaccer.

Abhinav Shashank
Abhinav Shashank

Whatever we do in the healthcare space, it is eventually meant for the greater good of patients, which is why today the aim of modern healthcare is shifting towards value-based reimbursement and with that the process is getting modified accordingly. Gradually, patient-centric care is becoming prevalent. The current standards require enhanced patient experience, and that comes with improved quality, coordinated care at a reduced cost.

CMS when releasing the fact sheet for Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program for the year 2016, said in a statement, “We now pay hospitals for inpatient acute care services based on the quality of care, not just the quantity of services provided.” Backing this statement was the fact that out of the four quality domains, patient experience of care bore 25 percent of the weight. This led to hospitals working earnestly towards enhancing the patient experience and utilizing the massive potential to qualify for the bonus and improve on current standards.

Why does Patient Experience Matter?

Patient experience is an essential component of the IHI Triple Aim, a schema for elevating the standards of providers’ performance:

Fortunately, health systems know that patient satisfaction isn’t just a tool for a performance bonus. Improving patient satisfaction is a way to identify gaps in care delivery and develop quality services. Also, according to a survey conducted by a health system found that out of 1,019 adults interviewed, 85 percent were dissatisfied with at least one aspect of their providers. Creating a patient-centric industry where experience and satisfaction of patients are overlooked is almost impossible!

Improving Patient Experience

A lot of researches have established that improving patient experience directly results in higher quality of care. Healthcare systems have realized the importance of the Triple Aim, and here’s how they can start working in this order on improving one of the fundamental aspects:

Patient Engagement a Priority

Patient engagement has been one of the most talked-about aspects of healthcare and unquestionably a way to improve the care experience. What we need to ensure is that the patient is willing to participate in the decision-making and the provider advocating this intervention. Even though healthcare providers are making efforts to improve patient engagement at their end, a survey revealed that only 34 percent of the patients are highly encouraged. Some effective methods patients found useful are:

Using Data Analytics

Data analytics have proven their worth in healthcare, and we have only scratched the surface of the immense sea of possibilities that can be realized using data analytics. When it comes to advancing patient experience, data analytics can be used in several ways:

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Physician Engagement: Make It Convenient, Credible and Fun to Impact Outcomes

Guest post by Maureen Ladouceur, vice president, Health Systems Products, Marketing and Services, Quantia, Inc.

Maureen Ladouceur

According to a recent Physicians Foundation survey, 82 percent of physicians believe they have “little influence on the direction of healthcare.” At the same time, data suggests that physicians are the ones driving 80 percent of our increasingly unsustainable national healthcare spend.

There’s been plenty of speculation on the reasons physicians are feeling so disenfranchised – including their frustration with having to do things that don’t appear, to them, to have anything to do with good medicine. Things like onerous documentation, EHR training and quality report cards are just a few examples. Further, physicians are being asked to learn about marketing, customer service, leadership, management and cost effectiveness that have more to do with taking care of the system than taking care of patients.

In most cases it boils down to this: there’s too little time, too many distractions and too much change to the clinical and administrative guidelines that go along with being a practicing physician.

So how can health systems overcome these very real obstacles and engage their physicians in ways that keep them current and aligned? For starters, any physician engagement strategy has to be digital if it’s going to scale. And to be sustainable, it’s got to be convenient, credible and enjoyable—while giving physicians a voice (and thus, gaining their buy-in) on topics that will impact the future of their practice, their organization and the overall healthcare system.

Health systems looking to engage their physicians in ways that foster ongoing learning and inspire change can leverage a few proven best practices:

Make it convenient

With an estimated half of current medical knowledge becoming obsolete every five years, even the most experienced physician can’t keep up with all the changes in healthcare. Yet many bristle at the idea of spending time away from the office at symposiums, or submitting to onerous exams on content that may or may not be relevant to their practice.

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