Numerous studies indicate that ‘patient experience’ will be a key differentiator in the healthcare sector for achieving competitive advantage. A major challenge is that many providers are not able to comprehensively measure patient experience and therefore not able to act on it. Sometimes patients arrive to these institutions with minimal planning and awareness of what to expect.  They are only thinking about getting healed.  In a healthcare facility the ability to provide the best experience possible is critical to both the patient and the healthcare provider success.

The healthcare industry is learning and adopting from industries like Retail, Airlines, Banking and Hotels.   By mirroring the experiences of these consumer-like industries, healthcare is recognizing that consumer retention is a factor of repeatable, memorable experiences. Healthcare needs to shed the thinking of “We are a Hospital, Not a Hotel”. The reasons to focus on patient experience are due to: increased cost sharing; upsurge in “On Demand” healthcare; information access; push for value; and reforms.  All of this is contributing to making this gap of patient experience in Healthcare versus other industries wider.

In this brief article, we will review different trends and key insights in building a leading service organization. There are four facets to it;

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Noise Control – Since the start of patient experience surveying with the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), the responses to one question have maintained position at or near the bottom of all those measured – h2During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night? Scored on a frequency scale of never, usually, sometimes and always, consistently less than 60% of survey respondents across the United States answer “always”, significantly lower than the other questions posed.

Under this project, institutions focus on questions such as What are the barriers addressing noise issue sooner? at what level noise efforts are focused? who had primary accountability? etc.

Another frontier in care experience is the idea of “Peak Experience” which draws its roots from Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. This encircles the hospitals, their internal staff, and their patients. Hospitals and institutions working on this puts focus on the need of recognition and finding meaning in the daily jobs, meeting expectations and addressing unrecognized needs. It works in the Stakeholders model rather than Shareholders model which focuses on the synergistic nature of having employees, customers, vendors, the community, donors and any other key constituents all on the same page.

Interactive Technology is being used to improve Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. HCAHPS is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patient’s perspectives of hospital care. Interactive patient care technology is revolutionizing the experience that hospitals are able to provide for their patients.

How does it work? Just as clinicians use electronic medical records to access and update clinical data, interactive patient care technology uses two-way exchange of real-time information to engage patients and provide them with better service and information. Promotion of patient education and healing, patient empowerment, personalized and relevant experience, expanded entertainment amenities, video visits with clinicians or loved ones are few of the key benefits that we’re now seeing a new kind of patient experience.

Another trend in adoption is of “Live entertainment”. h3Live entertainment may surely bring joy and can uplift patient’s spirits. It can be especially important for those patients who are confined in an institutional environment as the constraints in place for these individuals often mean long stretches of isolation as they move through challenging health issues. With this it becomes a realization that the patient experience is more than taking care of the body but mind as well.

Healthcare institutions may classify above initiatives into must have and good to have categories. Institutions may want to prioritize Noise reduction initiative over live entertainment and interactive technology. Another angle could be HCAHPS scores to determine the criticality.

Where are you facing most of the challenges in terms of managing customers’ expectations? Do you really know all the touchpoints your customers come in contact with your brand? If not, we can help you in identifying key opportunity areas, and the associated key drivers. We will also guide you in determining which CX initiatives achieve better customer delight and financial results.

To know where your company stands in terms of Customers Experience, take our Best Practice Assessment now and you will receive a complimentary assessment on your company’s CFN RatingTM and comparison against your competitors.

CustomersFirst Now (CFN) has been refining our CX solutions for more than 40 years—working with and for many Fortune 100 companies. We provide the only proven, predictive processthat links Customer Delight to financial performance by incorporating and measuring CX Best Practices across all key business disciplines. For more information, contact Amit Garg, Leader- Data Science, at agarg@customersfirstnow.com

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