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Giving patients a voice improves patient satisfaction for all

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Posted by Annette Shultz

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By giving patients a voice in their healthcare, organizations can take steps to make the patient experience more tolerable for patients, more effective and less expensive.

Patient experience surveys give hospitals the chance to act on their promise to offer patient-centered care by offering patients a voice.  This requires focusing on culture, the environment, measuring results and sharing data. 

Focusing on culture

Hospitals need to develop a culture where people know they have the freedom to speak up, where they have the power to change things and where leadership will listen. 

Areas of culture that factor into the patients’ perception of care are:

  • Executive Leadership
    • Daily leadership rounds lead to quick action
    • Demonstrates to staff the importance placed on clinical quality
    • Ensures regular communication between executives, managers and staff
  • Customer Service Attitude
    • Greetings, 'Welcomes' and Appreciation show care
    • Professional telephone presence is a must
    • Confidentiality and privacy are taken seriously
    • Respect for your patient speaks volumes
  • Communication Boards
    • If you do not complete them ALL of the time, they are hurting you
  • The 5 Ps of Hourly Rounding
    • Ensure all 5 Ps are checked every hour for every patient: pain, position, potty, periphery, pump
  • Inpatient / Outpatient Rounding
    • Every patient every day
  • Discharge Follow-up Calling
    • Confirms understanding
    • Confirms follow-up appointments
    • Reduces patient concerns
    • Increases patient perception of care

The Environment

Most patients cannot judge quality of care. ALL patients will judge the environment.

Hospitals tend to be very busy places, and they are not always conducive to the patient getting a good night's sleep. Drowning out noise and light helps patients rest, which is important for healing.

It is also important for the facility to be clean and cosmetic maintenance must be excellent. There should never be hallway clutter, the furniture should be in good repair and wall signage should be professional and minimal.

An in depth look into these approaches plus more in our Patient Satisfaction Guide:

patient satisfaction guide

For sources see the first article of this series here.

Topics: Patient Satisfaction & Experience, Patient Safety & Clinical Quality

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