Patty Riskind, Head of Global Healthcare for Qualtrics, authored an article for Forbes.com titled 8 Patient Experience Trends to Watch in 2021. The article discusses the changes currently taking place in the healthcare industry in response to the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic that exposed the inefficiencies, disparities, and weaknesses of our healthcare system. It’s due in large part to these inefficiencies and disparities that there has been an increase in the attention paid to what goes on inside America’s medical facilities. The article discusses these eight healthcare trends to watch out for this year:
- Transitioning from a system of measurement to a system of action
Because healthcare systems are always evolving, there will be different ways of providing patients with the best care moving forward. Instead of measuring patient care by the number of patients that are being cared for, the gears have shifted towards measuring patient care by the actual care being provided to them. People have realized that in many cases, actions speak louder than words. When a healthcare provider goes out of their way to understand a patients’ concerns, as well as get to know them on a more personal level, that speaks volumes. It shows the patient that the provider cares about them, and their health, as a person rather than just a number.
- Leveraging electronic medical records with experience management
Communication is extremely important when developing relationships with patients. Many healthcare facilities have begun issuing surveys to their patients to obtain feedback regarding the care they received. This is a great way to measure how they’re doing and to identify the areas in which improvements are needed. And the survey results can be added to the patient’s record, which can help to provide the patient with a better experience in the future.
- Tapping into the digital revolution
The American healthcare system was greatly affected by the Coronavirus epidemic, leading to significant changes in the way we provide and receive medical care. Doctors had to find a way to provide patient care virtually when it wasn’t safe to go into the office. Virtual visits and telemedicine appointments became an effective way for doctors to see more patients in less time, and most importantly, safely. It also enables providers to be more accessible, communicating with patients electronically through the online portals many began using this past year.
- Focusing on resilience and retention
For those in the medical profession, 2020 was one of the most difficult years to date. And now more than ever, in order to guarantee that medical providers are well-engaged, they need to be supported. Health systems must provide their employees with the resources they need to be focused, engaged, and aware. Employees need to feel safe and they want to know that they’re being heard and supported. If health systems show they care about and support their employees, then the employees will be able to pass along that care and support to their patients.
- Diversity, equity, inclusion
Having a diverse workforce is extremely important, especially in the medical field. Working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds enables teams to share thoughts, create new ideas, and develop innovative solutions to a range of medical conditions, thanks to perspectives they otherwise wouldn’t have. A diverse workforce drives change, increases awareness and education, and brings new values and understanding to critical decisions.
- Building trust
Healthcare providers must build trust with their patients. There are many various reasons why people go to hospitals, medical centers, or doctor’s offices. But one thing remains the same in any case: when a patient is in a time of need, that patient needs to feel safe, trusted, and cared for. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large amount of misinformation was spread, causing many people to panic and question what they were told. Healthcare providers must develop a trusting relationship with their patients in order to ensure that the information they provide is trusted by their patients.
- Measuring the ROI of NPS
If a patient endures a poor experience, there will be consequences. Patient experiences have a huge impact on safety, referrals, revenue, and the credibility of the facility – and negative experiences will indicate negative results. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is used to measure patient loyalty as well as the potential for them to recommend the facility to others. Fostering a positive work environment leads to better NPS scores and is reflected in the care that is provided to patients.
- Investing in Experience Management culture, competencies, and technology
Experience Management is a great way for organizations to improve experiences involving customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, and shareholders. To ensure maximum satisfaction, tracking experiences will be helpful when determining what works and what doesn’t. And investing in a facility’s culture, support, and resources will aid in the future success of both the facility, and the patients it serves.