NHIT Week is one of my favorite times of the year because it shines a bright light on all things HIT! This year more than any other, we’re seeing all these new, exciting ways that technology is transforming the delivery of care and creating a whole new patient experience that’s more informed and innovative — and one that fully supports value-based care, which is key.

So, what do patients consider a good experience? How do clinicians weigh in? Earlier this year, our team here at CDW Healthcare conducted a survey of several hundred patients and healthcare providers to learn about what they want and expect the patient experience to entail. What we found was really interesting, and I thought it would be appropriate to share during this important week.

The patient perspective

What expectations do patients have of their providers? First and foremost — easy, direct online access to their patient data. Patients responded that web-based access to general healthcare information and online access to their patient information via a portal or similar means are most important to them. How does this bolster their experience? 48% say this information is key to understanding the care they’re receiving, 45% says it saves them time, and 41% say it increases their overall health engagement.

This is no surprise given the major role that technology now plays in streamlining and integrating patient care across the continuum. In fact, our research revealed that 59% of patients are accessing healthcare information more frequently.

The provider point of view

Providers responded that they agree completely with patients regarding the importance of digital access and strive to help their patients achieve just that. 60% of providers, in fact, believe that providing patients with greater online access to personal healthcare information improves care quality.

That’s why 28% of them either allow or plan to enable patients to merge information stored on their mobile devices or wearable technologies with the online patient portal they offer. In addition, 62% are communicating with patients via email while 19% connect with their patients via text. All this goes to support providers’ drive to increase satisfaction and make care delivery a positive experience.

How one CXO is redefining the patient experience

Along with conducting our survey to take the industry pulse on emerging trends, we talked to our customers and clinicians in the field to really understand how issues like improving the patient experience translate into real-world execution.

Christine Holt, Chief Experience Officer at Holy Redeemer Health System, shared with us recently how her organization is empowering patients to take control of their healthcare experience, and how she’s helping Holy Redeemer innovate patient satisfaction.

She shared how her team has developed an exciting new avenue toward redefining the patient experience that involved creation of a training university. According to Christine, one of her goals is to have every staff member attend what’s called “Experience U.” “The dean of our university is responsible for Experience U, one college within the university. We take many of our non-clinical courses and turn them into immersive experiences using gamification and other methods to teach our staff how to make an experience special for someone else.”

Christine also highlighted how Holy Redeemer uses technology to anticipate patient arrival times in order to make sure staff is prepared, creating a more positive care experience for patients and staff. “Our medical office building staff serve as guides to greet patients with a warm welcome and direct them to where they need to go. An app provides the schedule and profile of each patient so our guides know exactly who’s coming and when — and if there’s a wait time, can redirect that individual to the café, living rooms (not waiting rooms), our computer resource center or the coffee bar.”

In the end, improving the comfort levels and managing the expectations of patients makes a significant impression, and leveraging technology to improve connectivity and expand communication between patients and providers makes all the difference.

To access the complete CDW Healthcare Patient Engagement Survey discussed in this post, click here. And to read our full interview with Holy Redeemer CXO Christine Holt, click here.

Want to see more NHIT Week posts? Stay tuned for other spotlighted blogs all week! And to share in the discussion, connect with us @CDW_Healthcare on Twitter using the hashtag #NHITWeek.

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