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Why Now is the Time to Modernize Your Patient Experience Strategy

Why Now is the Time to Modernize Your Patient Experience Strategy

Instantaneous, meaningful, and actionable insights are the key to a modern patient experience strategy.

The current landscape of healthcare experience insights is rapidly evolving and that’s good news. We’ve been long overdue for change. In the last decade, we’ve seen an acceleration in focus and significant advances in elevating and strengthening the experience of patients and caregivers like no other time in medical history.

Healthcare has finally reckoned with the idea that we need to integrate leading customer experience best practices from other industries, while holding on to our foundation — which is to help people through some of the most sacred moments of their lives.

Yet as we matured in our ability to develop more comprehensive strategies, our insights practices have remained stagnant. Most healthcare systems are still measuring and reporting data in the same way they were almost a decade ago: Charts and graphs hang in break rooms, goals exist that are so incremental it barely feels like we are moving the needle, and lagging data leaves providers feeling disconnected from the intrinsic reasons they got into healthcare in the first place.

I’ve spent the last decade leading, coaching, and strategizing with some of the nations’ largest healthcare systems about these issues. Here’s where I believe we are:  

  • Experience is a strategic priority in every healthcare system.
  • The maturity to develop comprehensive experience strategies is rapidly evolving.
  • Understanding of the interdependencies with other outcomes such as quality, safety, brand recognition and growth is well accepted.

However, what is lacking is access to instantaneous, meaningful, and actionable insights. I never thought I’d say it, but improvement is all about the data.  

Here are three simple, yet powerful ways your insights need to work today to improve your patient experience strategy in healthcare:

  1. Instantaneous: Immediate, real time feedback is more meaningful because the experience is often fresh in the caregiver’s mind and is more likely to encourage a behavior change.   It’s like feedback in high definition.   In healthcare we value the immediacy of feedback and insights around care delivery, and we should expect the same as it relates to patient and caregiver experience.
  2. Meaningful: Insights are more impactful when they are personalized. This is extremely important in the patient and employee experience realm. Numbers and charts typically tell where we are performing, but what motivates us as caregivers more than anything is the feedback we receive directly from our patients. Modern surrogates for in-person feedback are equally as impactful, as the ability to deliver narrative and video feedback is becoming the new medium. Caregivers and patients are deserving of this, and it will help our care teams find much greater meaning in the insights they receive. 
  3. Actionable: Today, experience data usually takes months to change. First, we spend weeks analyzing, creating an action plan and then implementing the plan. Then it takes several more weeks before we see any movement in the data. It’s crazy to think in this day and age with all of our advances in technology that we still engage in this dated process. Insights must be actionable, so you can immediately do something with the feedback. Whether it’s engaging in a closed loop process, or allowing a physician to hear feedback directly from the patient, in their words, feedback should always allow the user to immediately course correct through increased situational awareness.   

Other industries have been receiving feedback and insights this way for well over a decade now.  The question we need to ask ourselves as an industry is how can we justify lagging behind when we know that what we do in healthcare is engage in some of the most important moments of people’s lives? Modernizing your healthcare experience insights strategy will accelerate performance and most importantly, rapidly improve the experience for your care teams and your patients.   

Listen to Northwestern Medicine discuss how they are driving engagement and improving patient experience strategy in an ever-changing landscape.