Service Impacts Experience
Whether in a fast food restaurant, retail store, or hospital, the service provided by staff directly impacts the consumer’s experience and satisfaction. One of the many ways the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is revolutionizing our healthcare delivery system is by placing significant emphasis on the patient’s experience of care.
Who cares for the patient includes everyone from the ambulance staff to registration to radiology to nursing. Hospitals have long known this and have invested time and money in patient satisfaction programs that include patient surveys, focus groups, and staff training. Patient satisfaction firms like Press Ganey and Market Strategies International have made good money over the years assisting healthcare providers in gathering this information. The concept of patient-centered care isn’t new, but it wasn’t until the ACA placed financial incentives on the concept that other healthcare providers really began to take notice.
As a result of this focus on the patient experience of care, many hospital systems are adding a new position to their executive team. The Chief Experience Officers (CXO) aren’t typically from the healthcare industry but specialize in customer service from the service industry in such places as hotels and theme parks. Cleveland Clinic was the first major academic medical center to make patient experience a strategic goal and to appoint a CXO, and one of the first to establish an Office of Patient Experience.
The Affordable Care Act is touching and affecting every part of organizations and personal lives. It is not only limited to the nightly news. The adaption of electronic health record (EHR) systems will ease processing for doctors, and patients will greatly benefit from experiencing more communication and inside knowledge involved in their treatment. The benefits also include analytics and insight that comes from the data collected on EHR. What professionals choose to do with this information is their prerogative, but its value is immense.
The bottom line in any discussion about innovations in healthcare, whether it is a medical procedure or information technology, is improved patient outcomes. Any product, device or service that ends in better health for patients and reduced cost for providers, is worth exploring.