What patients expect from providers during their care journeys constantly evolves. And with patient experience hitting an all-time low in 2022, leaders across the care continuum are strategizing how to keep up with changing patient demands while streamlining their care team workflows.
In this episode of Memora Health Care Delivery Podcast, Bradley Kruger, VP of Patient Experience for Advocate Aurora, discusses how to rewrite, rethink, and reshape the patient care journey using digital innovation.
Communication is at the heart of every care journey
The pandemic challenged just about everything leaders understood about care. One key aspect transformed by COVID was communication as appointments shifted from in-person to telehealth interactions with providers, and hospitalized patients were restricted to virtual visits with family members.
That transformation, Bradley suggests, further spotlighted communication as a critical metric correlating to patient experience.
“We used to focus on a lot of the questions on [patient experience] surveys … And during the pandemic we saw that communication, not just to patients, but to family members and their support team, became hypercritical. We’re seeing that with high communication scores, it drives all the other questions and results … including safety and clinical outcomes. So communication is the focus,” Bradley explains.
While communication continues to influence patient experience, digital healthcare platforms with two-way texting to support patient-provider contact can help patients feel understood and cared for.
Digital health tools can help providers engage more patients
Before the digital health boom over the past decade, most patient experience data was gleaned from manual processes. But, Bradley argues, healthtech significantly expands the information health systems can collect — and includes more patient voices in the process.
Bradley remarks, “A couple years back, we switched to a very short electronic pulse clinical survey that’s delivered through a multimodal channel approach. Email, interactive voice response, and text … And what we saw was a significant increase in the feedback we were receiving. And a large increase among certain populations … We saw a 300% increase from people of color. So we have a lot of new voices at the table. And they told us about things we didn’t know we needed to improve.”
Health equity is important for creating a more sustainable health system. That’s why integrating the right digital healthcare platforms to help level the playing field and provide high-quality care for all is crucial.
Healthcare needs to learn from consumerism models to personalize patient experiences
The prevailing paradigm in care delivery has traditionally been to standardize experience across all patient populations. But, Bradley argues, that paradigm doesn’t always lead to better outcomes. As patient experience increasingly reflects the consumer experience in industries like travel and finance, healthcare could learn a lot from those sectors to personalize the care journey.
Bradley adds, “In the past, healthcare fell on the consistency standpoint. Do the same thing for everybody to achieve an outcome. What we’re seeing is that doesn’t work for all patients. And for some, it creates unsafe episodes … So how do we individualize and personalize care — and build that workflow?”
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