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7 Innovative and Actionable Ways to Improve Patient Experience

5 minute read

A patient's experience in hospital should be quick, stress-free and easy to understand. However, a 2023 GP survey revealed that the patient satisfaction rate for these services is 71.3%, down from 72.4% in 2022 and 83% in 2021.

The way people in the UK access healthcare services is changing to improve the patient experience, from booking appointments to spending time in the hospital and recovering.

Although we’ve taken steps forward in some aspects of patient care, there’s still work to do. With more technology at our disposal than ever, several innovative ways exist to improve the patient experience.

This blog highlights seven of the most impactful methods and services your hospital or Trust should implement to improve patient experience. 

  1. Offer Online Scheduling and Appointment Reminders
  2. Follow Up Appointments With a Survey
  3. Share Helpful Content on Social Media and Other Online Platforms
  4. Involve Families in the Process
  5. Adopt a Digital Engagement Platform 
  6. Integrate Care & Journey Mapping
  7. Offer More Entertainment Services

 

1. Offer Online Scheduling and Appointment Reminders

Patients with control over their healthcare feel empowered. When patients call GP surgeries to make appointments, they can often be left on hold for extended periods, causing dissatisfaction — nearly half of those surveyed found it difficult to make an appointment over the phone.

Waiting on the phone doesn’t fit busy schedules. By giving patients access to a booking platform, you’ll provide flexibility and convenience.

Lighthouse Medical Practice is an excellent example of an organisation that has successfully promoted online GP services to its patients. Over 3,500 of its 14,500 patients have signed up for online GP services, and this number steadily grows by around 20 new sign-ups every week. Find out how the practice improved patient experience.

 

2. Follow Up Appointments With a Survey

Receiving patient feedback is one of the best ways to improve patient experience in healthcare. This can be done by sending a text or email after a patient has visited, which will yield higher engagement as patients aren’t likely to submit this information unless prompted.

Capturing your patients' thoughts also ensures you can discover new ways to enhance key service delivery points throughout the patient journey.

NHS North Bristol is an example of a Trust that runs various surveys to gain valuable feedback, which it can then use to improve the patient experience. Find out more about the surveys here.

 

3. Share Helpful Content on Social Media and Other Online Platforms

There are over 57 million active social media users in the UK.

A Trust that educates its audiences online can improve patients' understanding of potential conditions and know when to make an appointment or attend the hospital.

These platforms are also effective for engaging with patients and educating them on how they can manage their own health.

4. Involve Families in the Process

Families have a crucial role in every patient’s healthcare. By including them, you’ll become allies in your efforts to improve quality and safety.

Involving patients and their families in the patient’s healthcare influences informed choices, safe medication use, infection control initiatives and promotes the practice of self-management.

But that’s not all — it also increases employee satisfaction, influences better patient outcomes and improves a hospital’s financial performance.

 

5. Adopt a Digital Engagement Platform

Patients want to be involved in their own healthcare. A digital patient engagement platform enables patients to access educational resources, communicate with staff between appointments and provide feedback when they see fit. 

The key benefit of a digital engagement platform is it provides you with rich data you can leverage to align with your strategy and make informed decisions. 

Healthcare organisations are already leveraging an engagement platform to improve the patient experience with SPARK® TSL. Read about them here. 

 

6. Integrate Care & Journey Mapping

When all parties are included and given the power they need to influence patient experience, the benefits extend to everybody.

The NHS staff engagement strategy is an example of different healthcare organisations coming together to achieve goals. 

This strategy not only focuses on enhancing patient experience but also takes into account the impact of staff morale on the overall experience.

 

7. Offer More Entertainment Services

Time spent in hospital can be lonely. Entertainment services can make a big difference in improving morale and ensuring patients feel at home during their care. Different entertainment systems, such as newspapers, TV & streaming services, games and video calling can offer different patient experiences and boost engagement.  

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is an example of a healthcare organisation looking to implement a patient entertainment solution to benefit staff and patients. Discover how we helped them meet their goals and provided their patients with an opportunity to save over £615k a year.

Patient experience is a fast-moving and ever-evolving focus area. The situation changes quickly, meaning hospitals and Trusts need to keep on top of trends and take action when implementing innovative patient experience solutions.

 

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