On May 11, 2016, multinational consulting management services company, Accenture, released a report with a startling claim: US Hospitals That Provide Superior Patient Experience Generate 50 Percent Higher Financial Performance than Average Providers.
“Wow,” you might think. “Patient Experience is such an intangible quality. Can that really be true?”
And to that, we say, “Of course it can!” We’ve known it for years.
Our founder, Mark McCloskey, founded an entire company and revolution in patient care all because of a poor patient experience he had following a knee operation. Recuperating in a four-bed room, Mark’s observation that “the biggest guy” held the remote for the single TV led him to envision and develop our solution, bringing the technology we’ve all come to expect in all aspects of our lives to healthcare.
If a poor patient experience can found an entire company and suite of solutions, of course delivering a superior patient experience using leading edge technology, real-time communications, and a smarter way of working, will generate superior financial returns.
Look around you. Where’s your phone? Probably within reach. I challenge you to do the following: Learn what the best bakery in your city is. Find out whether they’re open right now. Find out how long it would take and how much it would cost to get a ride there. Find out how soon you can get that ride. Find out what other people have said about the driver. Find out what other people have said about the bakery. Find out what other people have said about your city, just for fun.
You can have delicious fresh croissants in minutes. You didn’t even know you wanted delicious fresh croissants (although, who doesn’t?), but now you know where to get them, how to get them, what people say about them, and how long it will take. And this is the way the world operates in every aspect. We rely on user experience and ratings for haircuts, buying a new car, travel planning, market research, social clubs, ordering pizza, finding someone to install a light fixture (and ordering the fixture itself), and of course, delicious fresh croissants. Those providing the best products and experiences get the most traffic, and therefore, the most sweet, sweet dollars.
Why in the world should healthcare – one of life’s most important choices – be any different? Why are patients (and let’s call them what they really are – customers) still filling out paper forms in the hospital? Why are they settling for 12 fuzzy channels on a cathode ray tube TV? Why are they being issued a 1950s-nightmare-flashback-school-cafeteria-style “breakfast” tray while they’re still sleeping and are allergic to half the items they received?
In many hospitals, they’re not settling for these things. The savviest facilities know that patient experience is a code word for customer service. And for decades, the most successful organizations (Think Apple. Think Nordstrom.) have known that outstanding customer service means retention, reputation, and profit.
This is not rocket science. Give your patients customers all the comforts and conveniences they have come to expect. They will thank you for it. They’ll thank you with their words, with their HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) responses, with the recommendations they make to their friends, and with their wallets.