Did you know that hospital administrators can have a significant impact on the patient experience? This includes reducing readmission and improving outcomes. As a result, individuals in such positions should take care to follow these guidelines:
Get Patient Feedback
You should never presume to know which areas of patient care require improvement without getting feedback. Naturally, observing the structure of the hospital system will highlight some areas that you can devote attention to. The only way to understand these issues is to talk to patients.
Surveys are a tried-and-tested way to gain perspective on the patient experience. However, it is best to avoid paper surveys – online surveys are often the best way to reach out. Keep them short and to the point, but give your patients the option of providing a longer explanation, should they need to describe a problem in detail.
To ensure that you get the kind of information you are looking for, always tell patients why their participation is important. Explain to them that you are trying to improve their level of care and require their guidance.
Show the patients that you are true to your word by following up with their surveys. You can do so via email or phone call. This will prove that you really do care which can boost their overall experience.
Set Goals for Areas of Improvement
Between observing and getting patient feedback, you can get a good idea of where the hospital needs to improve. Afterwards, it is a matter of creating goals for each problem that you would like to solve.
Make sure that the relevant parties are involved in the construction of these goals. Their input will allow you to create realistic goals, maximizing their ability to carry out objectives. This insight can be especially useful if you need to create training plans to support your new goals.
It isn’t enough to have a main objective. The larger goals will need to be broken down into smaller, more attainable aims. This will make it easier for everyone involved to understand precisely how they should proceed.
Finally, implement a method for measuring the success of these goals. This will allow you, as well as everyone else involved, to determine if the goals are being met or if people are falling short. In turn, you can either revise the objectives or find a more efficient way to handle them.
Be Mindful of Human Factors
When implementing systems to improve patient care, it is important to consider human factors. In particular, human error or factors that can lead to a loss of quality in the patient experience. Overcoming human error is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the overall system.
Consider patient appointments, for instance. In a smaller practice or with fewer staff, it can be difficult to have someone manning the phones constantly. As a result, patients are not able to get through when they are needed.
However, having a system in place for answering on the frontlines, especially during emergency situations, can help to resolve this. In this case, you are outsourcing these issues to take the burden off the current system and to fortify the human factors.
Establishing a call gatekeeper also ensures that your staff does not have to rely on their memory to remember patient details. Instead, there will be a detailed information system in place. This will reduce errors and improve patient care.
Constantly Monitor and Adapt the Structure
It isn’t enough to make structural changes just once. The healthcare system, patient needs, and health technology are constantly evolving.
This means that the system needs to constantly change and adapt as well. The best way to do this is to consistently monitor how the hospital is run. You should also make an effort to get patient feedback on a regular basis. This will help you to keep your fingers on the pulse.
Then, it is just a matter of making the necessary adjustments to ensure the best possible outcome for the patients.
These are the main guidelines to follow as a hospital administrator. These outlines will allow you to improve patient care overall.