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How to Provide a Safe and Positive Experience for Patients

5 minute read

The way care is provided to patients is changing. As set out in the NHS Long-Term plan, major changes are happening to create more personalised relationships between patients, professionals and the healthcare system.

In this blog, we highlight the four steps you need to take to create a personalised, safe and positive experience for hospital patients.

 

Improve Communication by Keeping It Clear and Simple

Complicated medical jargon can isolate patients, so language should be accessible to all. Implementing processes to help staff communicate with patients in a way that’s comfortable and easy to understand is vital to stop confusion and further stress. 

Personalise the patient experience by communicating with them — not to them. For some, this could be done using digital services and platforms to access the information they require. For example, visual video explanations could be more beneficial than reading a sheet of paper or simply listening to a nurse.

Technology can contribute to patient-centred care in many ways, and there’s evidence people will use it if given the opportunity. When used correctly, technology can improve communication between patients and doctors, reduce medication errors and, most importantly, facilitate more informed patient-centred care. 

The Future of Healthcare: Our Vision for Digital, Data and Technology in Health and Care recognises “The potential of cutting-edge technologies to support preventative, predictive and personalised care is huge”. 

This shift is already taking shape in Trusts like Bedfordshire Hospital and Dorset County Hospital

Promote Independence and Self-Service 

Personalised care means people have choice and control over how their care is planned and delivered — promoting independence and self-service is just the start. Former NHS Chief Digital Officer, Tara Donnelly, stressed the opportunity for digital tools and personalised care to collectively improve the healthcare experience and patient outcomes. 

Market-leading hospital systems allow patients to take control of their own healthcare rather than relying on staff to provide leaflets. With this, patients have everything they need on their screens in front of them. 

Diagnosis information, educational videos and information about the treatment or medication they need can all be accessed in one place. This information can all be accessed on the patient’s own device and/or on a Bedside Unit next to their hospital bed.

When patients can obtain, process and understand information about their health on their own terms, it empowers them. It makes patients happier and their newfound independence also frees up the nurse's and doctor's time so they can focus care elsewhere. 

Request Surveys and Implement Feedback

As healthcare becomes increasingly value-based and patient-centric, providers need to prioritise gathering data about the quality of care received by patients.

A positive patient experience is an important goal in its own right. The best way to assess whether you’re providing patients with a safe and positive experience is by asking them. 

Measuring patient experience and other metrics such as the effectiveness and safety of care can provide valuable data for future decision-making. Feedback is one of the most efficient ways the NHS can positively improve its services. But obtaining that valuable feedback isn’t so easy. Many patients don’t complete these surveys because they forget or it’s requested at an inappropriate time.

Patient entertainment systems step up to the plate here, as they inherently attract engagement. These systems offer integrated opportunities for feedback, such as the Friends and Family test

As they can be easily displayed on the screen of the patient’s device or on the provided bedside units, surveys can be accessed at a time they’re most comfortable with. This increases the chances of a patient taking part and offering that insight you need to provide safer and better experiences. 

 

Keep Patients Entertained and Connected With Their Families

A 2023 study found that 57% of patients’ wellbeing was affected negatively by wait times and around 38% said it had made their condition worse. However, advancements in technology is resulting in better entertainment systems that keep patients happy and allow staff to be productive. 

Patient happiness is proven to speed up the recovery process, so by having entertainment and education systems fitted in hospitals, you’re bound to have happier patients, resulting in shorter stays. 

Allowing entertainment content via patient engagement services will dramatically improve patients' comfort and happiness and aid towards a faster recovery. 

Given the financial stakes and the impact on the quality of care, improving patient experience should be a central part of any healthcare system’s long-term strategic plan. When done correctly, improving patient experiences will also correlate with providing patients with better outcomes.

It’s notoriously difficult to keep in touch with friends and family when in hospital; poor signal and unreliable WiFi connection cause frustration at an already challenging time. 

Engagement platforms allow access to games, entertainment, hospital information and more, which can help keep patients feeling positive and informed.

To see how your Trust can benefit from a personalised solution, you need to find a system that’s right for you. 

We have a product brochure highlighting the different products and services SPARK® TSL offers that help Trusts create a safe and positive patient experience. Download your copy below. 

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