In recent years, there has been an increasingly strong focus on patient experience in the healthcare system. Patient feedback is collected to measure the patient experience and management teams typically put emphasis on the quality of medical care when measuring how a patient feels about their hospital experience.
According to a recent survey that measured NHS patient experience, the public’s satisfaction with the NHS has dropped to the lowest level in 25 years. Surveys like this one primarily focus on medical and social care, but there are opportunities to consider beyond medical care that can contribute to better patient experience.
So what are the other factors hospitals can consider when measuring patient satisfaction?
Capacity planning and management in hospitals is a critical component of a great patient experience. Introducing a patient portal allows hospitals to communicate with patients digitally so that less people need to come into the hospital. Patient messaging can be used to send patients important information, reducing the need for phone calls. Digital services also allow patients to fill in forms in advance and join mobile queues so they can get an accurate picture of how long they need to wait to be seen by a medical professional. Overall, digital services can help to streamline workflows and reduce waiting times.
Waiting around in a hospital environment can quickly become boring. Offering free Wi-Fi to patients is a great way to help alleviate some of that boredom. Patients can browse the internet at their leisure and access patient engagement portals where they can view healthcare information, place meal orders, use translation services and see hospital maps. Having the chance to personalise their stay, access useful information and request help when needed makes for happier, more relaxed patients.
Comfortable waiting rooms
Hospitals often feel cold, clinical and unwelcoming - even more so when the waiting areas are uncomfortable. Adding vending machines, hot and cold drinks helps patients feel more comfortable while they wait. Filling waiting rooms with books, helpful information and activities for children gives patients something to do to take their mind off their upcoming visit or treatment. In addition, adding TV screens that display information such as current waiting times or an idea of where the patient currently is in the queue can help reduce uncertainty.
Hospital wayfinding signage can be confusing, especially in large hospital complexes with multiple buildings. Patients are often stressed about being late for appointments, or even missing the appointment altogether. The first impression is a lasting one and if the patients see that the hospital cares about their time, they will feel better taken care of before their treatment even begins.
Implementing Digital Maps in hospitals greatly enhances patient experience with features like real-time indoor positioning, directions to the appointment room right from the patient's home, and search functions that allow patients to find specific amenities. When patients know where they need to go to have their basic needs met, it helps to create a more comfortable and stress-free environment.
To complement wayfinding services, it’s worth considering a colleague finding service for hospital employees. Employees can opt-in to share their location so that they can find each other quickly in times of need. The location service only works when users are connected to the hospital Wi-Fi - as soon as they leave the premises their location is no longer tracked.
When implementing the above factors in your hospital, it’s important to communicate well to patients and to let them know what’s available. Adding details of your amenities and services, such as free Wi-Fi, to information screens and posters around the building ensures that your efforts to create a great patient experience will be a success.
MazeMap for healthcare
At MazeMap we provide interactive digital wayfinding for healthcare facilities. Reach out today for a non-commital chat to understand how the right technology can help improve patient experience in your hospital.
To see how we helped St Olavs Hospital in Norway, you can read the case study here.