In it she reported, “… the concept of patient satisfaction was discussed inconsistently until about 10 years ago when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began publishing patient experience scores on its Hospital Compare website. Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the agency began to link payments for hospital care to patient satisfaction scores. Suddenly, healthcare providers started scrambling to ‘make patients happy.’ They talked about smiling, delivering warm greetings and closing curtains for privacy. While those are all important elements of compassionate care, they reflect just a fraction of the patient experience.”
As to her personal experience, she said, “A great patient experience connects clinical excellence with outcomes. It connects efficiency, quality, behaviors and mission with caregiver experience and engagement. The patient experience relies on teamwork, communication, shared decision making, empathy, compassion and human connection. It is also influenced by dignity, respect and humanistic values, as well as the ability and willingness of clinicians to relate to their patients as people, not as a medical condition or a room number.”
That’s a heavy lift for the clinical team. With these attributes taking nearly all the clinician’s share of mind, it is critical that external providers for product and services such as healthcare linens and gowns step up to not only provide quality product and choice but deliver it in a way that frees the staff and enhances their feeling of contribution and enthusiasm in work.