Using feedback to improve the patient experience in hospitals
As anyone who has ever walked into a large hospital can attest, healthcare facilities can be overwhelming.
Vast, complex and often busy, they are also a place people tend to attend at a time of stress in their lives. This makes understanding the patient experience in hospitals and healthcare facilities essential.
And this is where patient satisfaction surveys can be invaluable, allowing hospitals and healthcare providers an insight into the patient experience, their level of satisfaction, and areas which can be improved.
Here’s a guide to using feedback to improve the patient experience in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Measuring services and care
When delving into the patient experience in major institutions such as hospitals and healthcare facilities, there are a number of areas to look at:
This focuses on the range of services the facility offers, and how well these are provided. It encompasses factors such as whether a service was easy to access, how long a patient had to wait, and whether it met their expected level of satisfaction.
It might also address whether the services the patient ultimately needed were provided at the facility or whether they had to go elsewhere to have their needs met.
Understanding these elements can be useful to medical facilities when it comes to identifying future services which may need to be provided due to demand, or implementing systems and procedures that can improve a patient’s level of satisfaction with services already offered.
Assessing care taps into how a patient feels during their time at the facility. Did they receive the attention they expected, feel heard and valued, and were they treated in the manner they had anticipated?
It ranges from simple things like whether they were offered assistance to find the service they needed, to the communication skills of medical staff, and how they were managed throughout any treatment.
Gaining an insight into a patient’s experience of their care allows medical facilities the opportunity to identify common themes such as insufficient staffing, communication lapses, and also deeper issues like culture and professionalism.
The third area many medical facilities should be looking at when it comes to patient feedback is the facilities of the establishment.
This includes gauging patient satisfaction of the facility’s cleanliness, its ease of navigation, and general amenities such as sufficient restrooms, parking etc.
Assessing the quality of facilities might also further extend to feedback on areas like the meals a patient received during any stay, or their ability to access a television.
Discovering how patients feel about the facilities of a hospital or healthcare institution can help define the areas where greater attention might be required – whether that’s cleaning, the kitchen menu, meal quality, or renovations.
Why the experience matters
Gauging patient satisfaction and experience allows patients to feel involved in their own care and helps eliminate potential issues. It can mitigate patient frustration, which is often ultimately borne by front-line medical staff.
Improving patient satisfaction can therefore also assist with improving staff morale within the facility.
In addition, it can enable a healthcare facility to have a better insight into where their funds and resources need to be directed, all while improving the reputation of the establishment and most importantly ensures the patient care they provide meets the needs of their patrons.