The field of patient experience has skyrocketed in recent years. At the same time, efforts to engage patients in their own health have become equally as popular. But, since the healthcare industry began giving more attention to these topics, some have made a point that these two things -- patient experience and patient engagement -- are not the same thing. Understanding the differences between these two often confused terms is an important part of figuring out how people feel about the care they are receiving. It also allows you to create processes to promote behaviors that ensure patient loyalty.
With that, let’s look at how both experience and engagement are defined.
The Beryl Institute defines patient experience as follows:
“Patient experience is the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”
Overall, patient experience is not just about one instance or aspect of care. Every phone call, office visit, and other encounter contributes to the patient experience. And, your healthcare’s culture is a big driver behind what your patients experience. All staff and physicians play a role in the patient experience. Further, you have to look at the experience your organization offers from the perspective of a patient.
The Center for Advancing Health defines engagement as follows:
“Actions individuals must take to obtain the greatest benefit from the health care services available to them.”
In other words, patients need to engage with available resources to maximize their own health. For patients to be truly engaged in their health, they need to demonstrate behaviors that reflect engagement.
In summary, patient experience is what happens when someone engages with a health system of doctors office. Patient engagement is what happens when someone actively participates in their own health as a patient. It is essential to remember that both experience and engagement are important. With a poor experience, patients may not engage with their caretakers or their own health. It’s also important to remember that the patient experience takes place before, during, and after their treatment. Good experience is the prerequisite for engagement, but on its own, it is not engagement.
In the end, patient engagement and patient experience both have something in common -- the word patient. Ultimately, the patient plays a significant role in these decisions. But, it is up to us to provide the appropriate resources for patients. Here at HatchMed, we focus on creating products that improve both patient experience and patient engagement.
We are improving patient experience with BlackJack -- the only magnetic breakaway nursecall cable. Not only does this improve communication between patients and caretakers, it improves patient safety. You can learn more about BlackJack and request a sample here.
We are improving patient engagement with the Talon Tablet Mount -- the universal tablet mount for hospital beds. It gives patients access to education, infotainment, communication tools, and more -- all at their bedside. You can learn more about the Talon Tablet Mount and request a sample here.