A patient's experience with your hospital goes beyond the quality of medical treatment. It encompasses the entire continuum of care, including appointment scheduling, time spent waiting, filling prescriptions and numerous interactions with hospital staff.
Unfortunately, hurry up and wait is too often the prescription most patients get when visiting a hospital or clinic. Sometimes, making them feel much worse than when they arrived.
According to Forbes Magazine, patients are waiting an average of 24 days to schedule an appointment with a doctor. While other research indicates that patients can expect to spend 45 minutes waiting for a physician or an average of 2 hours waiting for care in the emergency room.
As patient wait times go up, patient satisfaction drops and dissatisfied patients mean lower Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) scores. And low patient satisfaction scores usually result in lower reimbursement payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), lower patient retention rates, and despondent hospital staff. Factors that have a detrimental effect on any healthcare organization, unless resolved.
However, wait times alone are not the problem. In fact, communication and interaction lie at the heart of an excellent patient experience. Patients are also consumers and have become accustomed to using technology to manage their lives. But there is a big technological gap between how patients interact with their healthcare providers, and how they handle the rest of their lives.
Improving patient experiences necessitates empowering patients to control their healthcare experience. Giving them the ability to access information about average wait times; reschedule appointments due to delays; join virtual queues using mobile tickets, all using familiar technologies such as the internet and their mobile devices.
These Patient Experience Management (PXM®) technologies help to put the focus on the patient. PXM® enables healthcare providers to combine existing health systems with non-proprietary customer flow solutions to deliver a familiar experience that empowers patients. Giving them access to estimated wait times, the ability to reschedule appointments and provide real-time feedback on their experience.
Consider how elements of PXM® might contribute to creating a better patient experience in your healthcare facility:
- Appointment Scheduling - Allows patients to schedule and manage appointments using mobile devices and the internet.
- Virtual Queuing Solutions - Empower patients to wait in line where it suits them with a virtual queuing system. Deliver notifications on expected wait times directly to the mobile ticket on their virtual queuing app. And provide staff with essential data about anticipated patient volumes.
- Patient Kiosks - Integrate with customer record software for pre-registration and appointment qualification to add convenience to patients and eliminate unnecessary tasks for employees.
- Digital Displays – Use intuitive digital signage solutions to reduce uncertainty by communicating estimated wait times, appointment numbers, and relevant information, as well as keeping patients entertained while they wait.
- Digital Wayfinding - Give patients the tools they need to navigate your hospital or clinic and arrive on time for appointments, without interrupting your staff.
- Patient Feedback – Gather real-time opinions with a smart feedback system, letting patients tell you what's working and what's not working. Collecting information directly on-site or remotely via the web and mobile apps.
More than ever, healthcare providers must offer patients the level of experience they have become accustomed to in other parts of their lives. ACF's advanced customer flow management and PXM® solutions integrate with existing healthcare systems and leverage non-proprietary technologies to deliver a superior patient experience, showing patients that they are the priority and helping hospital staff put more energy into providing quality care.
If you'd like to improve your patient experience, schedule a demo with us today.