Health & Fitness

Creating a delighting patient experience

patient

Summary

  • Traditionally, considerations on the care accorded to patients have been within the ambits of customer satisfaction.
  • In creating a delighting patient experience, the two cardinal rules of business apply.

Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has sharply risen to near 30 percent thanks to the high virulence of the Omicron variant. This is poised to rise given the increased human-to-human interactions that are characteristic of the December festive season.

Whereas the new variant has largely been more forgiving in the terms of lower death rates, hospital admission rates are beginning to rise.

This tragedy presents an opportunity for healthcare managers to reflect on the patient experience that they accord to clients seeking care at the various health facilities; both outpatient or inpatient services. Traditionally, considerations on the care accorded to patients have been within the ambits of customer satisfaction.

In this, various approaches are instituted such as applying customer satisfaction measurement metrics. Such metrics provide a categorical scale of scoring patient satisfaction as the range between low to high.

However, the current shift is towards delighting patients. This, essentially, scales up the focus to creating a lasting impression on patients regarding the nature of services that they receive at a health facility. Interestingly, this approach does not require heavier financial investments.

Rather, it needs a genuine focus on the mundane but powerful moments that can leave a lasting impression on clientele.

This includes considerations in structures and processes such as a responsive clinic or hospital front office desk that keeps track of patients’ in-service waiting times; clinicians making efforts to explain to patients what investigation results mean, treatment options and disease prognosis; a health facility ambience that is promotive of healing (research as shown that ‘little’ things such choice of health facility colors and murals actually affect patients’ recovery time); and availing prescribed drugs, meals and other utilities in time.

In creating a delighting patient experience, the two cardinal rules of business apply: rule number one is that the customer is always right. And rule number two is that in case of doubt, refer to rule number one!

Herein, deeper analyses should be conducted on clients’ feedback and undertaking necessary corrective steps on negative feedback. The net effect of such incremental steps towards having a delighted patient is a positive increase in a health facility’s brand equity wherein patients not only see healthcare but feel it!