Each year in the U.S., serious preventable medication errors occur in 3.8 million inpatient admissions, according to the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. In fact, according to Leapfrog Group, on average, one medication error occurs per patient per day.
Industry Leaders Say: People, Processes & Technology
As hospitals look for ways to intersect people, processes and technology to improve outcomes, patient satisfaction and revenue, chief experience officers and, more recently, hospital docents (skilled volunteers) are playing that key role. In fact, more than half of hospitals now have a chief experience officer. A 2017 survey by The Beryl Institute found that 58 percent of hospitals surveyed employ a chief experience officer or CXO, up from just 22 percent in 2013.
Everyone’s talking about it. What is the “it”? The “it” is how do we, as hospitals, improve our patients’ experience. How do we take a stressful, sometimes emotional, often confusing stay in a hospital and turn all of those adjectives into positives? There’s no single answer to that question, as evidenced by the many sessions devoted to patient experience at this week’s HIMSS conference.
It’s a new year, and with that comes the obligatory lists … you know, the best of, the predictions, the top trends. So what’s trending in healthcare? Underlying all the predictions is a sure continuation of the industry’s drive to a more consumer-driven, patient-centric model.
Walk through most any new healthcare facility, and it is readily apparent: these buildings are a far cry from the designs of our grandparents’ era. Architects, designers and technology providers are teaming with clinicians and facilities managers to create facilities that put the patient experience at their core.
Professionals in the healthcare field know a better patient experience directly translates to increased patient satisfaction scores and positive impact to hospital reimbursements.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data last fall that shows good news for hospitals working to reduce patient readmissions. From 2010-2015, 30-day hospital readmission rates fell by 8 percent nationally – with reductions noted in every state but one.
The most recent data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimate that hospital-acquired conditions have declined 17 percent in the past four years. The agency notes that “nearly 87,000 fewer patients died in the hospital as a result of the reduction in HACs and that approximately $19.8 billion in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2014.” Why the decline? AHRQ points to numerous reasons: financial incentives by CMS and other payers, more public transparency and reporting, and the availability of expanded resources supporting quality improvement initiatives.
Young patients at Santa Barbara’s Cottage Children’s Medical Center now have access to “pet therapy” of a different stripe, with the hospital’s addition last summer of the San Diego Zoo Kids channel on its Allen Interactive Patient Engagement Solutions televisions. Pediatric patients can view live animal cams, zookeeper interviews and kid-friendly, animal-focused videos.
Today’s automated world has created heightened expectations for service, convenience and connectivity. Hospitals are measured in their customer-service delivery models through HCAHPS. Improving the patient experience doesn’t have to be hard -- and measuring success is possible.