Improving Patient Experience in the Digital Age
Advancements in technology have created an era of connected healthcare, streamlining routine tasks for providers, and leaving more time for patient interaction. Innovation is continuing, and emerging technologies promise to improve the patient experience further.
Each technology advance places greater demands on communications infrastructure. Facilities seem designed to defeat mobile signals, Wi-Fi is overburdened, and public safety and privacy requirements add complexity. The continued application of new tools and the continued improvement of patient experience depends on the availability of reliable wireless communications everywhere in a healthcare facility.
What Is a Great Patient Experience?
According to Forbes, some of the highest priorities for patients are timeliness, kindness, hope, and certainty. Healthcare facilities are increasingly using new technology and wireless networks to deliver information efficiently, leaving time for the personal, compassionate healthcare that leads to exceptional patient experiences.
Improving patient experiences is a worthy goal in itself, but it can also tangibly impact hospital reputation and profitability. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is a tool that measures patient experience and offers ways healthcare facilities can improve. HCAHPS scores influence patient facility choices, and better scores can mean higher reimbursements for hospitals.
Smartphone Use Improves Patient Satisfaction
The use of smartphones at the bedside - often BYOD - is a powerful and growing trend, and patient satisfaction is growing along with it. Fully 96 percent of healthcare organizations that implemented smartphones saw increases in patient experience scores, and 32 percent of those were dramatic increases. Smartphone access has resulted in some astonishing results.
But healthcare facilities are innovating far beyond smartphone use. Artificial Intelligence, 5G, wearables, telehealth, The Internet of Things (IoT) - all of these are here or on the horizon, and all rely on reliable, always-on bandwidth.
Baylor Scott and White Offers MyBSWHealth for Patient Access
Baylor, Scott and White's MyBSWHealth app enables patients to view test results, track immunizations, get information about medications, set appointments, communicate with doctors, and pay medical bills. Patients can access medical information from anywhere via the mobile app, and if authorized, can see information for family members.
Streamlined routine tasks mean more time for providers to interact with patients. And giving patients easy access to information increases engagement and creates better healthcare outcomes.
Anne Arundel Medical Group Uses Technology to Speed Diagnosis
Anne Arundel Medical Center is deploying VisualDX to make diagnoses faster and more accurate for patients. The system can help diagnose, among others, dermatological conditions, drug reactions, infectious diseases, and ophthalmic issues. It can also aid in interpreting x-rays.
Physicians access the tool from an online portal or smartphone and enter the patient's symptoms. The tool narrows down the possible diagnoses from about 3,000, offers photos, and builds graphics or "Sympticons" to assist in diagnosis. The platform integrates with the patient's electronic health records, so information about age, gender, medications, allergies, etc., is readily available.
Mayo Clinic Offers Voice to Meet Patients Where They Are
The Mayo Clinic improves patient experience with increased engagement between patients and healthcare providers. Mayo Clinic began offering voice applications in 2017 with its award-winning first aid application for Alexa devices. Voice technology enables patients to access medical information three times faster than typing.
Next is the expansion to Google Assistant-enabled devices and an Artificial-Intelligence-powered voice chatbot for diagnostics and better patient follow-up after discharge. Researchers are experimenting with diagnoses using voice clues in telemedicine programs. Mayo Clinic is investigating wearables, smart speakers, and other devices that could alert patients to problems or remind them to take medication.
Geisinger Health Reaches for Unforgettable Experiences
Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania wants to provide patients with kindness and compassion and an unforgettable experience. To that end, they launched their ProvenExperience app patient feedback application. The app is groundbreaking because a dissatisfied patient can request a refund for their part of the bill, something unheard of in healthcare.
In the first year, Geisinger paid about $500,000 in refunds – less than 0.5% of annual revenue. But as a result, direct messages to Geisinger relating to care increased 23%. The feedback led to new website design and improved ways for patients to contact doctors and access healthcare information.
Reliable, On-Demand Bandwidth is Key to Providing a Great Patient Experience
What is common to all these applications is that they require flexible, always-on bandwidth. Yet diverse architectural styles, building materials, and even the stainless steel in operating rooms can block cellular signals. SOLiD builds reliable in-building mobile systems so providers can offer information, kindness, compassion, and hope. Call at (888) 409-9997 or email us at info@SOLID.com and let us provide you with the seamless bandwidth that changes good patient experiences into great ones.