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Improving Patient Satisfaction: How to Get Started with an Internal Process Assessment

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Posted by Sara Kirpes

internal-process-assessment .jpgIn the quest to improve patient satisfaction, your facility probably fits into one of these three categories:

1. Your quest is just beginning and everyone is gathering ideas.

The amount of information available is overwhelming and confusing. A solution should be able to be used throughout all facility departments so data can be combined to find which problems are most prevalent and need to be addressed first.

2. Your quest has started but improvements need to be made.

Perhaps the data is being collected but nothing is being done with it. Or, each department has an idea of what needs improvement but there is no agreement on where or how to tackle it.

3. Your quest is going well but healthcare changes require constant re-evaluation.

While patient satisfaction scores are not horrible, the newest CMS reimbursement rules still cause concern. Also, the focus of the improvement processes needs to be expanded to more areas of the facility.

Internal Process Assessment

It helps to understand where your facility is on its path to active patient satisfaction initiatives in order to gauge where to continue (or begin) your efforts. The following list can help you quickly determine areas for improvement.

  1. Are your communication boards helping or hurting?
  2. Does your environment give patients the sense of excellence?
  3. Does your hourly rounding alleviate or increase patient anxiety?
  4. Do your inpatient care rounds include every patient every day?
  5. Do you collect feedback from your outpatients?
  6. Do you perform discharge follow-up?
  7. Is your executive leadership involved in rounding?
  8. Is a customer service attitude presented by everyone in your facility?
  9. Do you go beyond a patient’s initial answer to understand them?

Do you feel like any of the above could be improved upon in your facility?

If you were unable to answer ‘yes’ confidently, or were unsure of the answer to any of the questions, the good news is that these are all areas that can be improved upon, with the right tools.

The first place to start is gathering patient experience quality data. Knowing which areas of improvement are most needed is crucial. Once the processes and tools are in place to gather this data directly from the patient, staff and area observation you can begin to offer real results, thereby improving your patients’ experiences.

If there is one thing you take away from this, it is the importance of using a real-time rounding solution to assist the hospital in digitally gathering data in addition to creating the ability to follow-up in order to allow for immediate corrective action.

Look for a real-time rounding solution that takes data gathered to generate reports identifying issues or problem areas. This lays the groundwork for implementing performance improvement initiatives.

We leave you with one last thought:

If you are like us, you may be wondering how new initiatives like improving patient satisfaction are executable in our industry’s current climate. With each new presidential term, it seems that the healthcare industry is at the mercy of dramatic transformations, on top of the ever-evolving changes we already experience on a constant basis. Although patient satisfaction may be pushed to the side-lines in preparation for a new year of chaste budgets, we contend that patient satisfaction is something that must continue to be improved upon. We also believe it is doable without increasing costs.

See how you can continuously improve your patient experience in a time of uncertainty and change.

Improve Patient Experience

Topics: Patient Satisfaction & Experience

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