The National Health Service (NHS) is the lead agency for patient experience improvement. It is also responsible for the design and delivery of the clinical trials that it conducts. However, a process of communicating with patients and family members in healthcare, the trials are only designed to test how well new treatments or devices can improve their health. They are not designed to provide information on whether or not the treatment is effective.
To improve the quality of patient experience, healthcare organizations need to adopt a coordinated strategy across the entire healthcare organization. It is recommended that every healthcare facility develop its own patient experience goals and outcomes according to the agreed European standards for quality improvement. These standards were developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Global Health Strategy (WHO Global). WHO is also the leading global provider of public health information and services.
Developing patient experience goals can be difficult. However, it is essential to consider possible improvements and set achievable targets to improve satisfaction scores. In addition to developing a framework for tracking progress, it is essential to identify what areas or aspects of health care are lacking in patient satisfaction. These could be improvements in access to healthcare, reduction in waiting time, reduction in stress, improvement in staff-to-patient ratio, reduction in errors, etc.
Once the patient experience goals and objectives have been established, monitoring progress should be carried out continuously. Periodic appraisal and analysis should be conducted to assess the success of strategies and to identify any setbacks that might have been expected. Information on patient satisfaction is essential in building a healthcare organization’s reputation. When satisfied, patients are more likely to refer their friends and relatives to the same healthcare facilities, and when those patients are more likely to undergo a proper healthcare evaluation, the facility’s reputation improves. This leads to more referrals, higher patient satisfaction scores, and improved cash flow. This is why it is also essential to ensure transparency and accountability in healthcare systems.
In planning for the next decade, a tasking senior vice president and CPO will create a vision and a business case to improve healthcare quality. A senior vice president and CPO can set the vision by discussing what is required to achieve that vision with the CMOs and other stakeholders. The vision can then be transformed into detailed plans that include timelines and deliverables. The plans will then be reviewed and evaluated according to current and future patient satisfaction standards. After a review, the plans will be implemented and routinely monitored to ensure that the objectives are met. A key benefit of having a patient experience officer on staff is that they are aware of current patient satisfaction scores, which allows the senior vice president and CPO to track progress annually.
Implementing a plan based on patient experience goals and objectives can also be a transformational strategy across all healthcare organizations. When a transformational strategy is developed, the entire health system becomes one unit. Therefore, evaluating and monitoring units’ performance within a more extensive health system becomes much more accessible. The metrics used in assessing units’ performance in a more extensive system often include spending reductions, cost-saving initiatives, and other significant improvements that make the system more efficient.
Creating a safety huddle has become another tool used in evaluating the effectiveness of patient experience goals and initiatives. The safety huddle refers to monitoring healthcare organizations in their effectiveness compared to their desired outcomes. The safety huddle involves two different groups: one group is comprised of leaders who are accountable for providing high-quality patient care and are aware of their specific responsibilities; the second group is comprised of professionals from various areas of the system that have been educated and are aware of their responsibilities towards patients. Once a safety huddle is created, it is used to identify gaps in care and implement changes that will close those gaps.
This type of analysis can be used in an outpatient hospital or a long-term care facility. In both cases, the goal is to reduce unnecessary interventions and provide optimal services to patients. By comparing real-time data from various locations, leaders can quickly detect gaps in care and formulate strategies for closing those gaps. An example of a problem area identified in an RLDT is the lack of time spent talking with patients and addressing their individual healthcare needs. Other areas that could be examined in an RLDT are staffing, access to technology, communication skills, patient education, empowerment, etc.