Most hospital executives and administrators are on the lookout for ways to optimize and improve the patient experience for people admitted to your facility through the emergency department. Identifying how to improve patient experience in the emergency department can be tricky. Still, since more than half of all patients are admitted through an ER, success in this area is critical. Take advantage of these four ways to improve emergency room experiences.
Why Focus on the Emergency Room?
Today’s patients are required to pay higher copays and larger deductibles than ever before. Consequently, their expectations of care have increased. If you can’t meet their quality service requirements in the ED, they may take their complaints to urgent care. Since many patients are admitted through the ED, low satisfaction scores can hinder the entire facility’s success.
How To Measure Patient Satisfaction
Emergency room directors can solicit patient feedback in many ways, such as phone inquiries, written surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. Written polls tend to generate the most reliable results and are the most cost-effective approach. However, the results take a long time to come in, making individual conversations a more appealing method.
Benefits of Positive Patient Experiences
A patient’s positive experience yields many benefits for your ED. It can increase patient volume, enhance your organization’s revenue, and improve your hospital’s reputation. People tend to follow their physician’s instructions when they have a favorable view of their experience. These pleasant interactions help engage them in the success of their healthcare plan.
Ways To Improve Patient Emergency Room Experience
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Medical directors must become individually engaged in the process and heed staff and patient feedback in order to improve the patient experience. Consider these four ways to move the process forward:
- Reasonable Wait Times
Flow matters in your quest to be a high-performing ED. The goal is to reduce wait times and get the length of stays down, as well. Encourage physicians to provide initial care in under 30 minutes while still being attentive and courteous.
- Friendly Staff
One key to success is engaging your team with the goal of improving all aspects of the patient experience. Don’t expect to change your department’s culture overnight. Developments take time to yield sustained results for your patients’ and your team’s morale. Ask staff members for their input and allow them to help shape new processes.
- Effective Communication
Clear communication between healthcare workers and their patients is essential. It enables you to better understand your patients’ needs and boosts mutual understanding while simplifying your daily tasks. AIDET is a communications program designed for healthcare professionals. It helps reduce patient anxiety and improves clinical outcomes.
- Exceptional Care
Showing that you care is a simple way to provide exceptional service beyond the clinical sense. Follow up every interaction with questions like “Is there anything else you need?” or perhaps “Have I answered all your questions?” Taking the time to encourage open dialog has been shown to significantly improve overall scores for the ED.
Patient experience scores are an excellent indicator of a hospital’s reputation, and there are real incentives to increase these scores. Use these tips to improve patient emergency room satisfaction.