A 2015 benchmark study by the Beryl Institute found that long-term care facilities are focusing on patient experience improvement efforts in large part because they want to get a leg up on competitors. This differs from hospitals and physicians that are driven to patient experience action by mandates and as a way to improve clinical outcomes.
While those things are important to long-term care, the competitive marketplace is ultimately responsible for motivating providers to develop policies and procedures that will make them attractive to residents and their families. For these organizations, resident experience may be the ticket to becoming a provider of choice.
Much of the healthcare industry really began ramping up patient experience in response to the move to value-based payments. Financial incentives that were tied to quality and patient satisfaction got the ball rolling in many areas of care. Of course, long-term care needs to be able to attract and retain residents in order to preserve its financial health. So long-term care providers have been laser-focused on finding ways to position themselves as best-in-class providers. Resident/patient experience has become an obvious solution for attracting business.
Long-term care organizations and other healthcare providers can use these simple strategies for optimizing patient experiences.
Strive to make every encounter positive. Creating exceptional experiences requires consistently high-quality care.
Get residents and their families involved in care planning. People are happier when they feel their opinion matters and they are being listened to.
Work with external providers to improve care-coordination. This leads to safer, higher-quality care and better clinical outcomes.
Put processes in place to help people through stressful care transitions. Recognize that transitions can be scary and confusing, and work to make them as smooth as possible.
Don’t assume you know what consumers want. Ask residents and their families for feedback to help measure your performance.
Strive to be a positive workplace and promote employee satisfaction. People who feel valued will always do more, and that can lead to better experiences for residents.
While this list is not comprehensive, it covers some of the basics of experience optimization.
More than 80% of top healthcare leaders believe patient experience drives demand for care as strongly as (or more strongly than) clinical care quality does. Across the care continuum consumers have the ability to make choices about where they want to receive care. Long-term care should continue to focus on experience as a way to draw people in and ensure organizational success.
What tactics do your organization have in place regarding the resident's experience in long-term care? Please share comments below.