Just think of the untapped potential of a industry that is leaving 8 out of 10 customers unsatisfied.
A robust business model keeps a foundation in serving the needs of its consumers. All be it healthcare has unique circumstances and challenges that set it apart, but this does not justify avoiding concentrating on its brand-to-customer relationship.
Patient satisfaction with Healthcare
One of the reasons for a low 19% satisfaction rate is due to providers thinking they are doing better at pleasing the patients then they are.
When surveyed, the CEO’s of the hospitals did not have patient satisfaction anywhere in their top five priorities. The disconnect is because in the past healthcare providers and stakeholders have not seen the value in patient satisfaction, but this is changing.
With Value-based care increasing health care organizations are forced to change their revenue model. Financial success is now becoming increasingly dependent on how well a health center performs against the competition. The patient experience is one of the determining factors for evaluating. As competition stiffens and operating cost are squeezed, medical institutions will be facing the fact that consumers will have the majority of power.
Why health IT needs to step it up.
#1 Profitability will depend on pleasing the consumer.
Accountability to the customer is critical for evaluating the performance data of an organization. Metrics allows an understanding of where energy needs to be focused. It finds waste, generates better coordination for care, aligns physicians with their patients, makes referrals, and improves outcomes.
#2 Emphasis on brand loyalty will be more important.
When a consumer has a choice, they become empowered. They compare and look for the best fit. The customer begins the process of finding the brand that speaks to their needs. They become ambassadors for the brand and influence the growth.
With the brand becoming a viable necessity for the growth of healthcare we will need to go beyond just standard claims data and electronic medical records (EMR). Patient satisfaction, efficiency, and outcomes will also become integral to driving a healthy bottom line.
#3 It creates healthier patients.
Readmissions are expensive and are often due to a lack of understanding. When communication improves, it leads to a patient feeling less anxious. Trust of the physician develops at a greater rate; this then impacts patients to follow the instructions better.
Rewards come when doctors and nurses improve outcomes. Physicians also gain more knowledge by practicing with a feedback protocol. What a doctor learns in satisfying one patient evolves the entire process.
#4 Obtaining accreditation for a health plan will depend on it.
The process of gaining health plan accreditation is one that is beginning to include patient satisfaction. The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems and The National Committee for Quality Assurance have employed measuring patient satisfaction as part of their requirements. Health care providers want to achieve high scores to be accredited and in some cases even reap financial gains.
In California, health plans are financially rewarded 100% by member satisfaction. California believes that healthcare is a business of service. More states are beginning to follow California with many implementing a 50% or higher reward for top scores.
So how do we improve customer satisfaction in healthcare?
First off we need to help all stakeholders in the healthcare industry see the importance of creating better patient experiences.
With all due respect, the best business models for a thriving and healthy society are ones that put customer satisfaction as a TOP priority.
It all boils down to service.
Improve the patient experience by employing a data-driven initiative that aims to use analytics as a tool.
By identifying areas of concern, we can pinpoint solution strategies that help meet the goals. Indirectly these problem areas play an impact on patients healing and recovery. By creating a more positive experience, everyone from the doctors to administration, to payors, to the patient are benefiting and improving wellness.
The entire purpose of a healthcare facility is to serve it is people and bring the patient to the best possible state. How they feel about the experience is as much the answer as anything, when the patient is satisfied everybody wins.
Improving customer satisfaction in health care depends on complete Data Interoperability
Within our organization Rural Health IT Corporation (RHITC) we have seen this coming for a while. Being an early game changer has been part of the RHITC story. In 2004, one of the first multi-state Health Information Exchange Systems was built by us. Since then it has been our goal to develop solutions that could capture and integrate data from ANYWHERE!
The intention has allowed us to stay focused on a vision that incorporates clinical, claims, structured, and unstructured data. By servicing existing systems, the vendor-neutral platform can be part of the current infrastructure.
The feedback gathered from patients needs to be part of the total data package. Insights give healthcare stakeholders the clues on how to improve satisfaction. Concentrating on specific areas streamlines resources and focuses attention on where it is needed most.
The Big Data we all see as important in the Health IT sector would be incomplete without incorporating user experience.
When the patient is interactivity being part of the process improvements can be made from a holistic perspective. Instead of imagining what would work we can use the patient in the context of the problem-solving team.
We have seen this affecting other business in positive ways. Brands use social media to inform or run creative campaigns to better understand their demographic. Engaging the consumer is essential. Leveraging user insight to shape and mold the future direction is a wise practice. Include the customer every step of the way. Make them part of the team.
Truly there isn’t a sector of healthcare that shouldn’t be looking to use complete data interoperability, including user experience, and feedback.
*research statistics from prophetGE
*see Language of Caring learn more about the benefits of quality patient experiences