Patient Experience’s Three Fatal Flaws

The good folks at NPR stated that forty-one states have legislation making it illegal to text while driving—the other nine states are trying to thin the herd.  The commentator mentioned it is almost impossible to enforce those laws.

It is also illegal to skateboard while driving, but this law does not need policing as Darwinism makes it self-enforcing.

Here is how texting and driving ties in with patient experience.  Forty-one states are trying to enforce the law—a hundred million drivers, each moving between twenty-five and seventy miles an hour, a few thousand police officers.  An impossible task.  It is like freeing a hundred cats that were in a box.  How many can you catch?

There is a simple solution to the problem.  Instead of trying to catch each person who is texting why not stop everyone from texting?  Through GPS it is possible to track if the phone is moving.  It must be possible to build an app that turns off the ability to text if the phone is moving.  In other words, do not try to solve the problem one hundred million times, solve it once.

Patient experience.  The present approach to improving patient experience is to solve it a hundred million times.  We ask Sally what she did not like about her hospital stay and then we try to fix it afterwards.  Then we ask Billy.  And Pete.  And Mary Lou Who who was no more than two (Grinch). We only have 999,996 more people to ask and 999,996 additional fixes.

The current approach to improving patient experience has three fatal flaws:

  • It is reactive; put out this fire, then put out the next fire.
  • You will never run out of fires
  • There is no designed global patient experience across the care continuum

The analogy a rising tide lifts all boats does work with the industry’s current approach to increasing patient experience.  For the current approach to work, for patients to feel they had a remarkable experience requires hospitals to implement thousands and thousands of fixes, former patient by former patient.

Why not look for an approach to improving patient experience that only has to be implemented once?  Why not use an approach that creates a remarkable experience for every patient AND every prospective patient every time they access the hospital?

Let’s lift all boats.

  • Design a global patient experience across the entirety of the care continuum
  • Ensure the design includes:
    • Inpatients
    • Outpatients
    • Prospective patients
    • Ensure the design includes:
      • A digital strategy—the web.
        • Patient portal
        • Customer portal—not the same as a patient portal
        • Social media
  • A mobile strategy
  • A Call Center/CRM strategy

This is how you get from where you are to a remarkable experience for every person every time on every device.

Please text me your thoughts, but pull over first.

3 thoughts on “Patient Experience’s Three Fatal Flaws

  1. I agree with you that a problem is better solved once rather than multiple times. I am not sure a one size all solution always works, that being said solving problems instead or nursing them along is always better like as you pointed out with patient experience. I thought you brought up some good point that needs to be considered with the larger number of issues in the health care industry.


  2. Pingback: Customer Experience | TCELab Blog

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