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.
In recent years, the field of patient engagement and patient experience have escalated -- and for good reason. According to a recent HIMSS report, a patient’s engagement in healthcare contributes to improved health outcomes. Further, there is extensive evidence that demonstrates the improved clinical and financial results that happen when patients are engaged in their own health.
Overall, patient engagement is a win-win for both the patient and provider. And in today’s digital world, providers are taking steps to improve patient engagement with the help of digital tools.
With that, let’s take a look at some digital health tools that increase patient engagement.
A recent survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2017 conference evaluated 200 patients and 200 providers to assess the impact of digital tools on communication outreach between the two groups. It found that patient portals and telemedicine are helping increase patient engagement. According to the survey, 71% of providers say improving patient engagement is a top priority for their organization. Further, 80% of providers are working on a way to improve access to personal healthcare records.
Used to send a receive message from physicians, view medical records, and schedule appointments, patient portals are proving to be valuable tools for doctors to engage and empower their patients. “Over the last year, online patient portals have surpassed web-based access to healthcare information as the number one method for encouraging patient engagement for both patients and providers,” the survey finds.
Interactive Patient Engagement Platforms
Almost 50% of patients don’t experience optimal outcomes because they don’t properly follow their physician’s instructions. Not only does this negatively affect patients and their families, it drives up healthcare costs for families, employers, and the country. In fact, avoidable cost from nonadherence range from $68-$146 billion annually, in the United States alone.
Fortunately, advancements in personal technology have created new opportunities for hospitals to improve their patient education and outreach.
Similar to patient portals, interactive patient engagement platforms are proving to be a win-win for patients and providers alike. Not only do they give physicians the ability to prescribe personalized educational content and care instructions, interactive patient portals are giving patients and families anytime access to their healthcare information. Further, these platforms are opening the lines of communication with clinical staff, which increases the likelihood that patients will receive the right information at the right time.
Recently Phoenix Children’s Hospital installed 200 tablets in patient rooms to provide patients and their families with interactive, customized information about their treatment plan. With the installation, they digitalized their “Journey Boards” -- a tool that helps a child’s family understand discharge information before they take their child home.
"For families, hospital stays can be a very intense and stressful time and it can be hard to retain information under those conditions," director of the Division of Family Centered Care at Phoenix Children's Hospital, Teresa Boeger, said in a statement. "Journey Boards help us ensure that comprehension is taking place and helps us identify gaps in understanding…”
Further expanding on the topic, Miami Children’s Hospital CIO Edward Martinez said that the parents bringing their children to the hospital are more tech-savvy than ever before. “They want to have their information, and they want to have it now,” Martinez said. “So we feel that the engagement from that perspective — getting them engaged that early on — will get us a much better outcome earlier because they like the idea of being engaged on mobile and not face-to-face.
Overall, digital health tools are closing communication gaps, improving patient education, and increasing patient engagement. To learn how HatchMed is improving patient engagement, you can read our blog on winning the MedTech Breakthrough Award in patient engagement with the Talon Tablet Mount.
Nurses are the backbone of healthcare. They continuously provide care on the front lines, provide a multitude of essential functions, and tirelessly work to better the lives of their patients. A survey found that nursing is one of the most trusted professions by the public. In fact, 82% of the respondents rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses ‘high/very high’.
Even though nurses are highly esteemed by their peers and the public, a large number of them suffer from disengagement and job dissatisfaction. The feeling of powerlessness is prevalent among nurses who perceive that they are unable to act autonomously or have a voice on the policies that affect them. Nursing is no longer simply about bedside manner and medical intervention. It is about building relationships within the entire care team and empowering them so they can deliver the best patient-centered care.
There are several compelling reasons to empower nurses. Empowered nurses possess highly effective conflict resolution skills, understand nursing ethics, and maintain open communication with the entire healthcare team. Further, a culture of empowerment among nurses decreases the length of hospital stays and improves overall patient outcomes. With both nurses’ job satisfaction and patient satisfaction go hand-in-hand, it is imperative to focus on empowering nurses so they can do what they do best -- care for patients.
Here are some strategies for nurse empowerment.
Give Nurses a Voice
A key attribute to burnout in nurses’ job dissatisfaction is that they often feel underrepresented in the organization and in their role in patient care. As frontline caregivers, nurses have direct knowledge of the practices that drive patient satisfaction. They need to be empowered so they can voice these insights to administrators. One simple way to give nurses a voice is to actively seek them out for their feedback.
"Empowerment is about how you design the infrastructure or a system where the voice of the nurse can be heard," says Martie Moore, RN, CNO of Mundelein, Ill.-based Medline Industries. "Empowerment is…creating that culture of safety where people feel they can speak up in a professional, respectful manner, or share their concerns to where you're able to hear each other and listen to each other in a mutual and respectful way." Further, Ms. Moore says that this type of empowerment allows nurses to grow their own personal practices and advance in their learning.
Give Nurses Control
A nurses’ perception that he/she has control over the professional practice, processes, and care given at work promotes engagement and empowerment. Studies have found that active participation in organization decision-making has been found to be connected to higher levels of work efficiency and decreased levels of exhaustion. When nurses are given the power to meet patient's needs as they see fit, you will have more actively engaged nurses and patients.
As interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University, Christy Davidson said, “Patients can tell the difference when hospitals empower nurses.” With 3.5 million nurses in the United States, they have a substantial amount of influence over clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. At the end of the day, empowered nurses lead to increased job satisfaction, higher levels of organizational commitment, and most important -- increased patient satisfaction.
Each year, between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in hospitals. A patient fall is defined as an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury to the patient. Of these falls, between 30 to 50 percent result in patient injury. These patient injuries range from fractures to lacerations, to internal bleeding -- which could result in increased healthcare services and fees. The average cost of a patient fall that results in injury is $14,000 and can add over 6 days to each hospital stay.
In a time where patient safety and satisfaction are so critical, preventing patient falls should be a top priority for hospitals. Peruse these tips below about how to prevent patient falls in a hospital.
Set Bed Alarms
If a patient is hungry or needs to use the bathroom and doesn’t get answered after pressing the nurse call button a dozen times, then he or she could attempt to stand up and risk falling. Simple as it sounds, ensuring that the nurse call cable is plugged in can reduce the risk of patient falls. Ensuring a patient’s room is equipped with a durable nurse call cable that is always connected promotes patient safety. BlackJack is the only magnetic breakaway nurse call cable that, when used correctly, ensures connectivity 100% of the time.
Identify High-Risk Patients
Screening can help nurses and other healthcare professionals identify patients who are at risk for falls. When assessing patients for fall risk, American Nurse Today suggests to check for history of falls, impaired mobility, altered mental state, medications associated with falls, and incontinence.
Keep Patients Occupied
Another way to prevent patient falls is to give patients activities to do so they would be occupied and less likely to get out of bed. One way to do this is to provide patients with a tablet. With a tablet, patients can watch their favorite movie, play games, read books, and even FaceTime with family members. With the proper accessory, like The Talon Tablet Mount, patients can use tablets from the comfort of their bed.
Use a Video Monitoring System
In addition to keeping patients occupied, tablets can be used as a video monitoring system to keep patients safe, like the one from Avasure. With a video monitoring system, live-stream video of patient activity can be viewed at a central monitoring station.
Many falls are the result of failures in communicating the importance in following procedures that prevent patient falls. Hospital staff, at all levels, should be properly trained in the steps they need to take to prevent patient falls. Additionally, it is important to provide staff with the resources they need for fall prevention, such as regular training and technology like nurse call cables.
Overall, preventing patient falls is difficult and complex. However, ensuring bed alarms are connected, identifying high-risk patients, keeping patients occupied, using a video monitoring system, and raising awareness are great strategies to help prevent patient falls in a hospital. If you have any questions about patient safety, BlackJack, or The Talon Tablet Mount, please contact us.
“Healthcare providers can deliver the best care when they have powerful, intuitive tools. Our technology helps them work effectively within hospitals, connect remotely with patients, and conduct groundbreaking medical research. The result is care that becomes more efficient, more personalized, and ultimately more human.” - Apple
Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads, have been used by certain hospitals for several years now. However, only recently Apple went public about making moves to get a tighter grip on the $3 trillion healthcare market. According to ICT & Health, Apple wants to help patients have digital health information at their fingertips by shifting from USBs and CD-ROMs to mobile. An Apple spokesperson stated, “Leading hospitals and health systems are using Apple products to transform all aspects of health care inside the hospital and beyond” while emphasizing the privacy and security of iOS as a key factor for Apple’s growth in hospitals.
Though some hospitals are making the shift toward mobile, making their facilities cutting-edge, there are still hospitals with reservations. Compared to other sectors, such as finance and retail, hospitals across the United States have been relatively slow to adopt mobile and consumer technologies. The reason why? Doctors and other healthcare professionals are hesitant to change their processes. According to Fast Company, only recently have physicians have fully adapted to the shift away from pagers, clipboards, and fax machines. On the other hand, patients have quickly adapted to the changes and have already been using the technology in their daily lives. Patients are able to research their prescriptions, direct message people in their care team, and quickly get answers about their health.
Apple’s work puts patients at the center of their care.
According to Ben Bajarin, a technology analyst who has been tracking Apple’s move into health care, “Health is a sensitive area, and it’s not consumer-oriented.” He says, “You don’t just have to pass the Federal Communications Commission, you have to go through a lot of regulatory protocols, including the FDA.” But, according to Fast Company, Bajarin feels that Apple’s move to healthcare was a long time coming. Steve Jobs, Apple’s late CEO, realized how “broken and bad” many health care processes were, such as poor user experience, after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Apple will not be making their own apps, instead, they are working with top developers who were already working on apps for health care. Apple has already introduced three software services- CareKit, ResearchKit, and HealthKit. These software services should help developers and consumers pull together disparate health information, such as steps, heart rate, and sleep, into one place. HealthKit is designed to make it easier for developers to gather health data. ResearchKit is designed to help researchers recruit participants for their studies. CareKit is aimed at helping patients with chronic conditions share data with their care team. With these efforts, Apple has now made strides in three foundational areas: hospital care, at-home care, and medical research.
Here at HatchMed, we recognize the many benefits that tablets bring to hospitals. Benefits like increased HCAHPS scores, patient education, improved communication, and many more. We are eager to help bring iPads to the hospital bed rail.
2017 has already brought an ample amount of extremely well-designed and in-depth healthcare and technology related infographics. Infographics are a great way to display information in a visually appealing format.
Here are 17 of the best healthcare infographics of 2017.
1. Five Healthcare Predictions for 2017 created by Oliver Wyman
2. Healthcare Almanac 2017 by Clearstate
3. 8 Ways To Improve Patient Satisfaction by HatchMed
4. Quality Improvement in Healthcare by MarkLogic
5. Healthcare Spending in the United States by IHME
6. Major Drugs Going Off-Patient in 2017 by Dickson Data
7. A Look Ahead Into Top 2017 Trends: Preparing For The New Age of the Healthcare Customer by Windstream
8. Is Mobile Healthcare the Future? by greatcall
9. Healthcare Breaches By Number by Secure360
10. Improving HCAHPS Scores Through Healthcare Design by ASHE
11. 4 Competencies to Choose a Right Vendor for Healthcare Product Training by CommLab India
12. How Modern Healthcare Is Being Revolutionized By Social Media by Canadian Pharmacy King
13. Virtual Reality for Healthcare by Luminous
14. 8 Tips to Enhance Communication and Connectivity in Healthcare by Singlewire Software
15. Mobility in Healthcare by Avast
16. Mechatronics: How Electrical Engineers Are Impacting Healthcare by New Jersey Institute of Technology
17. The Anatomy of a Heath IT Ecosystem by University of Cincinaniti
Patient satisfaction is not an easy concept to define, but it is an indicator of the quality of the services provided. Patient satisfaction is a main area of focus for many, if not all, patient-centric hospitals. This isn’t surprising, as patients have assumed more of a consumer role in their healthcare -- meaning hospitals must now ensure their patients are satisfied with the care they received. The most common way to measure patient satisfaction is with the HCAHPS survey.
The HCAHPS survey has become a fundamental part of a patient’s visit to a hospital. The questions on the survey pertain to factors such as the care received from nurses, the hospital’s environment, and whether or not a patient would recommend the hospital to family and friends. Patient satisfaction determines the amount of money received from Medicare, and since the scores are public, they affect how a patient chooses a hospital. If a hospital provides a lower quality of care, they will be penalized. Since patient satisfaction holds the potential of big rewards and the risk of big penalties, it has an enormous impact on profitability, and has become a top priority for many hospitals. With revenue at stake, hospital leaders all over the country are looking for ways to improve patient experience, and in turn, boost their HCAHPS scores.
Many companies claim they have a way to increase a hospital’s HCAHPS scores. In our opinion, no one is actually making an impact. Patient satisfaction is determined by one thing: the patient. Even if a hospital smells like feet and serves bad food, if a patient watched his or her favorite movie, then they are more likely to disregard any negatives. If a patient is hungry or needs to use the bathroom and doesn’t get an answer after pressing the nurse call button 15 times, then he or she could attempt to stand up and risk falling. It’s little details that make all the difference. Details like providing a patient with a tablet for entertainment or ensuring the nurse call cable is plugged in.
No one wants to be stuck in a hospital bed, and providing a patient with entertainment helps the time pass faster. If you research tablets in a hospital, you will see patients holding the devices in their beds, which is simply unrealistic. It's unrealistic because tablets are often dropped, lost in the bedding, or in some cases, patients are too frail to hold a tablet on their own. At HatchMed, we have found a method to position tablets in hospital rooms with an orientation that is convenient for patients and out of the way for nurses. Our tablet mount locks to a hospital bed rail with a key, which eliminates the risk of the tablet being stolen or broken. With the tablets on the bed rail, patients don’t have to hold them, and nurses can lower the tablet with the bed rail if needed.
A top priority for patients is communication with hospital staff. Making sure a patient’s room is equipped with a durable nurse call cable that’s always connected permits effective communication with hospital staff and promotes patient safety. BlackJack is the only magnetic breakaway nurse call cable. Since it’s magnetic, damage to walls and nurse call systems are things of the past. It is easy to use, reduces patient falls, and ensures nurse call connectivity.
The bottom line? Patient satisfaction can make or break a hospital's success. Instead of focusing on minute problems, such as the squeakiness of the hospital floor, hospitals need to look at what really matters to patients -- communication and comfort. With a tablet in reach and constant communication with nurses (paired with adequate care from the hospital staff), patient satisfaction will skyrocket.
There is no doubt that technology impacts much of our daily lives. It proves no different in the healthcare world. The patient experience and hospital rooms in general are going digital. There are tablets in hospital rooms, Smart TVs to educate and engage patients, Electronic Health Records that provide an electronic version of a patient’s medical history, and in the near future, there will be Smart Patient Rooms. All of these technological advancements allow healthcare providers to do what they do best: help patients. They also provide patients with education, entertainment, control, and communication.
There are many dimensions of healthcare that are in need of innovation, such as patient satisfaction, patient safety, cost containment and improved profit. Facing these multiple priorities with limited resources forces leaders in healthcare to seek out innovations that can satisfy all these demands and more. Look at patient satisfaction, for example. Forces such as HCAHPS scores contribute to the growing imperative to improve patient satisfaction. This pressures healthcare systems to find ways to become more patient-centered.
So, back to the question -- ‘Will healthcare innovation improve the quality of life?’
According to The Wall Street Journal, how people feel about their condition and overall well-being affects their quality of life. Providing patients with education, as well as offering advice about managing their health problems, is extremely beneficial. Noreen Clark, director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan, said, “Quality of life happens to be the element that is most important in motivating people to deal with an illness. People aren’t motivated to follow their clinical regimen if in fact it doesn’t improve the way they function and get along with others and manage day-to-day.”
Innovations in healthcare that provide patients with education, such as how to utilize tablets in hospital rooms, are a major step in the direction of improving the quality of life. Some examples of how providing patients with tablets are beneficial: placing a tablet in the room of a new mother to educate her on breastfeeding protocols, using a tablet to provide sound therapy or white noise to a recovering patient, or having a tablet programmed in the patient’s language that provides any information he or she may need. Furthermore, tablets also provide entertainment, a direct line of communication to healthcare staff, and remote video access to the patient’s family and care providers. Additionally, providing patients with tablets ultimately results in higher HCAHPS scores in the areas of patient satisfaction.
Overall, improving the quality of life in healthcare is a daunting endeavor. Luckily, in today’s age of technology, hospitals have the ability to employ healthcare innovations that improve certain areas of need in the industry, such as improving patient satisfaction. In the end, there is no doubt that healthcare innovations improve the quality of life.
With all the resources and care medical equipment manufacturers devote to making quality hospital beds and surgical equipment, it is amazing that the accessories accompanying these items do not meet the same quality standards. Most manufacturers in the medical equipment industry make great, quality beds, surgical equipment, and items that help with the ease of patient care. At HatchMed we believe the details matter. We focus on the details that make a hospital room more comfortable and efficient while improving the functionality and usability for both patient and caregiver. Here are 3 nurse proof hospital bed accessories for small hospitals.
1. Tablet Mounts
Being stuck in a hospital bed is like being stuck in an airplane seat, no one wants to be there. Unlike an airplane, there is no first class hospital bed, but if we treat our hospital beds somewhat like airline seats, then hospitals should provide patients access to entertainment or distraction, in the form of a tablet. Tablets can help time pass by more quickly, they allow nurses to video monitor their patients, they increase patient satisfaction, and more.
Some common concerns with providing patients with hospital owned tablets are that they could be broken or stolen, not to mention that holding a tablet can be unrealistic for a recovering patient. A solution for those concerns is a tablet mount that locks to the patient’s bed rail, making the tablet always convenient for the patient. HatchMed’s tablet mount locks to hospital bed rails with a key, ensuring that they won’t get in the way of nurses and eliminating the risk of the tablets being stolen or broken.
2. Breakaway Nurse Call Cable
Nurse call cables are one of those absolutely necessary hospital bed accessories for small hospitals. These cables allow patients to communicate with nurses whenever they need assistance.
Standard nurse call or breakaway cables get damaged because they can’t stand the wear and tear they receive in hospital rooms. This damage results from either forgetting to remove the cable prior to bed movement or while attempting to reconnect the cable.
The constant replacement of standard nurse call cables is a costly recurring expense. A solution to this problem is BlackJack - the only magnetic breakaway nurse call cable. BlackJack is compatible with all hospital beds and nurse call systems, it is easy to use, has a 1-minute installation, reduces patient falls, and it ensures nurse call connectivity.
3. Overbed Tables
Overbed tables are a handy and necessary accessory for patients that are in recovery or bedridden. These little tables have sturdy wheeled bases that fit under a bed, while the neck of the table is able to adjust to the most convenient height for the patient. Overbed tables offer a space to eat, play, write, and perform other tasks.
In conclusion, high-quality hospital equipment is expected by a patient, but going one step further by making their hospital stay more comfortable and efficient goes a long way. Providing patients with entertainment, and simple accessories, such as an overbed table, makes a big difference in a patient’s perception of their hospital experience.
Facilities managers have the responsibility of maintaining a safe, well-cared for work space, and the responsibilities vary from overseeing the day-to-day use of the hospital to striving to reduce operational costs. Facilities managers may face a variety of situations while looking after the hospital. To discover your ingenuity, dependability, and critical thinking skills you may be asked behavioral or situational questions. Since the position will have you managing personnel, it is important to be prepared to answer questions about your leadership and communication abilities.
Here are 7 facilities manager interview questions to be prepared for.
1. Why do you want this job?
Companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job they are applying for. With that, you should have a good answer as to why you want the job. Hospitals rely on Facilities Managers to keep the workplace safe and functioning, and to solve any problems that inevitably come up to maintain safety for staff and patients. When answering this question you should identify a couple of key factors that makes the position a great fit for you and share what you love about the hospital.
2. What are your goals as a facilities manager?
This question could be asked in several different forms, such as “What are you looking for in a job” or “Relating to your career, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. When asking this question, the interviewer is looking for you to connect your personal goals to the company. To answer this question, you should relate your goals to the job features, which will show the research you did before the interview (e.g. reduce patient falls, ensure total connectivity to nurse call system, create a more efficient workspace for nursing staff...etc). If you know what you aren’t looking for in a position or why you are leaving your current job, incorporate that in your answer; just be sure to not talk poorly about your current employer.
3. Why did you leave your last job?
This is one of the most commonly asked interview questions, so you’ll need to be able to talk about why you left your last job. When asking this question the interviewer is most likely looking for if you left for a good reason if you left voluntarily, and if you left on good terms.
4. Tell us about a time you had a difficult time coordinating everyone for a maintenance project. How did you resolve it?
When an interviewer asks this question, they are looking at your leadership and communication skills. Take this opportunity to show that you are a problem solver and have the ability to lead and communicate with a group. It is best to have a specific example story prepared about your experience that highlights the problem and the steps it took to resolve it. For example, if there was a large change in your previous facility for equipment, what steps did you take to make sure the change occurred smoothly with minimal impact on patients and caregiving staff?
5. How do you feel about doing some manual labor when necessary?
Your answer to this question will ultimately show what kind of a worker you are. If you say that you are open to doing manual labor when necessary it shows that you are a fair leader that does whatever it takes to get the job done. Just be sure to answer honestly.
6. What would you want to accomplish in your first three months if hired?
This is a question where you can showcase your expertise on what is relevant in the industry and the research you've done on the facility. Demonstrate your grasp of the latest environmental codes and standards safety, water, emergency and energy management, and JCAHO requirements. Share your viewpoints on the effectiveness or ROI on different medical devices or energy saving plans, though be sure to be tactful in case it is something the hospital currently uses. Not only does this question give you the opportunity to discuss your ideas, it demonstrates your industry expertise, ongoing education and your ability to plan for realistic goals.
7. What do you know about our company?
This goes back to researching the company before you have the interview. This also ties directly into the position itself because as Facilities Manager, you are expected to be a leader in the organization. To do your job properly, you must be familiar with every part of the facility you work for and the healthcare industry at large. When researching the hospital, go beyond the mission statement and look for information that you can relate to your passions and experience.
The interview is the time to really show your talents, it is your chance to prove that you have what it takes to support the hospital’s mission. Attention to detail, strategic planning, and communication are all required to be a successful Facilities Manager, so take the opportunity to prove you have all of these skills and are the best person for the job.