Patient Experience: A Critical Indicator of Healthcare Performance

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Abstract

Summary

Patient experience has become a critical differentiator for healthcare organizations, and it will only grow in importance as transparency and consumerism dominate the healthcare landscape. Creating and sustaining a consistently exceptional experience that promotes patient engagement and the best outcomes is far more than just “satisfying” patients, going well beyond amenities that may be provided.

Summary

Perception of care experience is often shaped by methods we use to address the biopsychosocial needs of patients. Building relationships and communicating well with our patients and families are primary approaches. In a complex healthcare situation, patients may not fully understand or remember the highly clinical nature of treatment. However, they always remember how we made them feel, how we communicated with them as a team, and what interactions they experienced while in our care.

Summary

Patients who are fully informed and feel connected to their caregivers are often less anxious than those who are disengaged. Informed and engaged patients are enabled to participate in their healthcare. Organizations that focus on developing an accountable culture—one that inspires caregivers to communicate in a way that connects to patients’ mind, body, and spirit while leveraging standard, evidence-based patient experience practices—find that patients’ perception of care, or “the patient experience,” is vastly improved.

Summary

Adventist Health System has embarked on a journey to patient experience excellence with a commitment to whole-person care and standard patient experience practice across the system. Recognized with several national awards, we continue to strengthen our approach toward bringing all of our campuses and patient settings to sustained high-level performance. We have found that a combination of strong, accountable leadership; a focus on employee culture; engagement of physicians; standardized patient experience practices and education; and meaningful use of patient feedback are top contributors to excellence in patient experience.

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