Written by Matt Lathlean, Forefront Events
The word patient and customer has now become more interchangeable, patients are choosing to take a more active role in their healthcare, expecting an enhanced experience while at the same time demanding better service.
Although this might seem like a reasonable and expected request, how do health professionals and government better embrace consumerism and balance it with the increasing costs of quality of care?
Overall consumer expectations have shifted dramatically over recent years, mainly due to increased service competition amongst industries such as banking, airlines and online shopping. Patients much like customers are now more informed than ever, they understand the service landscape and what should be expected.
The NSW Ministry of Health has recently announced a $2 million 6-month trial that will focus on improving patient experience at Blacktown, Liverpool, Nepean and Lismore Hospital emergency departments before a state wide roll out.
Some of the project’s features include free refreshments, wifi and mobile docking stations, but more importantly a focus on providing timely information to patients throughout their health journey. Specialised hospital staff will be trained in promoting great patient experience with the acknowledgement that an improved experience brings improved health outcomes.
This is only one example of how hospitals are beginning to feel the influence of the consumer, it will only be a mater of time before we see the entire healthcare sector completely transformed and owned by the customer.
The Patient Experience Summit will take on February 28 in Sydney, details available here: https://bit.ly/2zq6Ojo