According to social media mavens, people are a lot more likely to read your blog if the title includes phrases like the five best, the six most, and seven things you should never do.
Hence, the ten commandments of patient experience.
When I began commenting about improving patient experience I drew comparisons of a hospital’s business processes to those in the hospitality industry, and I was liberal with my use of the word customer instead of patient. Readers used to throw metaphorical tomatoes at their monitors. Over time that angst subsided, was replaced by indifference, and most readers began to accept the notion that having a heretic in their midst was the new steady-state.
Few have accepted the notion that most hospitals ought to at least augment their patient experience focus to include what happens outside of the hospital—prior to admissions and after discharge, and fewer still are paying any attention to the largest group of stakeholders—non-patients.
After all, patient experience for non-patients is a non sequitur. Or is it? Most people who are discharged change their status; they change from patient to prospective patient. For them to become a patient again, to be treated for something new or to undergo a new procedure, the hospital must acquire them.
The unique thing about prospective patients is that all of them reside outside of the hospital. If your patient experience focus is entirely within the hospital you have no idea what experiences those people have and whether or not those experiences are even satisfactory, a poor benchmark by anyone’s standards.
What are those unmeasured and unreported experiences? They include access in all of its forms. Scheduling, admissions, second opinions, billing, complaints, labs, and discharge. They happen online and on the phone.
And, if they do not happen well, they will not happen again. Those people, whose experiences of trying to do business with the hospital are poor, will go somewhere else. Those people, the hospital’s assets with a lifetime value of between $180,000 to $250,000, will move that asset to another hospital. They are the same people who cost less to acquire as patients than do the ones who are not even looking at your hospital’s website or calling the switchboard.
Anyway, back to the commandments. There is only one—
A remarkable experience for every person every time on any device.