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Mastering Patient Experience Enhancement with Technology August 26th, 2022

Mastering Patient Experience Enhancement with Technology
Maintain a big-picture view of technology solutions for healthcare while deploying solutions that benefit your clients and patients.  

The healthcare industry faces challenges on several fronts that threaten to diminish patient experiences. Since early 2020, healthcare providers have adapted processes to safely provide care during the pandemic and manage care for thousands of people according to vaccine, screening, PPE use, and other new regulations and guidelines. At the same time, Europe experienced a shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly nurses.  

Technology solutions providers (TSP) can’t solve all of the healthcare industry’s problems. Still, you can help healthcare organizations implement solutions that address gaps, enhance patient experiences, and improve outcomes.  

Critical Components of the Patient Experience 

Before you can provide technology solutions that address current healthcare challenges, you need to understand the elements that go into an optimal patient experience: 

  • Caring: Recognizing patients, caring about them as people, being sensitive to their needs, expressing concern for their worries, and respecting them 
  • Listening: Hearing patients, including patients in decisions about care and taking time to hear their concerns 
  • Explaining: Teaching patients, presenting the problem or condition, medications, treatment, and follow up instructions in a way they can understand 
  • Teamwork: Coordinating care for the patient, working together to provide a friendly, courteous, and organized continuum of care  
  • Efficiency: Making procedures or hospital stays easy for patients with accessibility, smooth transitions and timely response 

The challenge is to provide solutions that support optimal patient experiences while increasing efficiency so fewer nurses and hospital staff can provide care during the labor shortage – and ensure healthcare organizations are prepared and agile to address the pandemic.  

How Technology Can Help 

Technology can increase efficiency, streamline processes, and improve real-time visibility, giving nurses and other healthcare professionals the ability to deliver care, listen to patients, teach them about their conditions and care, and work effectively with their care teams.  

TSPs should have these solutions in their portfolios to address their healthcare clients’ needs: 

  • Systems that enable remote patient monitoring. These systems are less intrusive for patients than traditional checks and can provide data visualizations on screens outside patient rooms or in the nursing station.  
  • Compliant telehealth solutions. Give patients a convenient option for staying connected with their physicians and provide healthcare providers with the means to care for more patients. Because of the benefits, telehealth is in demand. Mordor Intelligence reports that the European telehealth market will grow at an impressive 18.8 percent CAGR from the base year of 2019 to 2027.  
  • Touchscreens in patient rooms. Offer solutions that provide “self-service” options for ordering food or services, making payments, and connecting with social workers or insurer agents. In-room systems can also keep families informed of status when a patient is in a procedure or that patients can use for consent to share information with family members at home. 
  • Digital signage. It takes time for hospital staff to stop and point people in the right direction. Digital signage can make wayfinding easier and improve patient experiences by making navigating large facilities more straightforward.  
  • Mobile workstations. Nurses and other healthcare staff often carry a range of supplies, instruments and devices. A workstation on wheels (WOW) can keep staff organized, streamlining patient interactions and keeping electronic devices charged and ready to use. 
  • Self-service kiosks. Patients can use mobile check-in stations, eliminating the need for staff assistance. Technology solutions streamline the process, improve accuracy, and allow the patient’s needs to be quickly addressed. Kiosks can also be equipped with integrated payments and receipt printers to manage copays.  

Forward-Thinking Solutions for Better Patient Experiences 

The emergence of new healthcare technology solutions will continue improving operational efficiency and patient experiences. If you aren’t already acquiring the skills and resources or forming partnerships to provide these solutions, make sure you explore:  

Robotics 

Healthcare robots provide a significant amount of assistance in accomplishing routine tasks such as delivering items, cleaning and disinfecting areas, and restocking cabinets. The service robots are timesaving for staff and reduce exposure to disease. In addition, social robots interact directly with humans and reduce the workload for caregivers. These “friendly” robots can provide cognitive engagement, encourage self-care compliance, or welcome visitors and provide directions. 

Blockchain 

Blockchain technology enables secure data and information sharing between multiple parties. Blockchain technology can be leveraged for supply chain transparency and tracking, smart contracts for insurance and settlements, medical staff credential verification, and patient-centric electronic health records (EHR). With the patient’s consent, blockchain-enabled EHRs create a single comprehensive view of the patient record and a complete picture of the patient’s medical history. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics 

AI can analyze large volumes of data in seconds, providing healthcare teams with fast and accurate insights. Data analysis can look at the current state, but it can also be predictive, using historical and real-time data to forecast what is likely to occur in the future. This ability is invaluable in patient care, helping care teams make informed decisions that result in fewer readmissions and adverse patient outcomes. AI can also benefit healthcare by enhancing cybersecurity, improving coding accuracy and insurance payments, and forecasting appointment schedules based on patients’ past behaviors. 

Technology Designed to Enhance Human Interaction  

Technology solutions in healthcare are not meant to replace human interaction but rather enhance it and support the staff in providing quality care. Technology gives healthcare staff the ability to spend less time on data entry, pouring through reports, or performing routine tasks and more time to focus on the needs of their patients and enhancing patient experiences. 

If the nursing shortage persists and strains on the system due to the pandemic continue or other outbreaks occur, it may be too late to implement the necessary technology. Giving your clients the ability to transform processes with new technology solutions now will help organizations position themselves to handle anything and still provide great patient experiences moving forward.  

SAMANTHA KALANY

Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.

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