How Technology can Improve the Patient Experience

How Technology can Improve the Patient Experience
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Healthcare is buzzing about improving the patient experience. With the transition to a value-based payment system, the patient is becoming more of an educated consumer with new expectations.

The pursuit of a superior patient experience culture has even seen the rise of a new executive role – chief experience officer, or CXO. This leader is charged with creating strategies and allocating resources to ensure their organizations deliver the best possible patient experience.

While delivering an excellent patient experience may seem like a straightforward concept, it rarely follows an easy path. Patient satisfaction, patient safety and clinical outcomes are all factors that contribute to patient experience. Additionally, the care team plays an integral role in delivering the best possible patient experience.

Yet in addition to delivering better quality patient care, provider organizations must control costs. Since labor costs account for more than half of an organization’s operating expense, using the clinical workforce in the best way possible is often key to realizing significant cost savings while improving the coordination of care.

How Staffing and Scheduling Affects Staff Morale and Patient Satisfaction

The scheduling of healthcare staff plays a crucial part in ensuring a positive patient experience. Proper staffing guarantees the right person is in the right place at the right time to deliver patient care.

Scheduling staff to meet patient demand seems to always be a work in progress for unit managers. Trying to pin down staffing needs often happens up until the start of the shift. Without accurate forecasting, this typically results in over or under staffing – negatively affecting staff morale and the patient experience.

In 2016, AMN Healthcare and Avantas conducted a survey of nurse managers and other leaders in nursing and found that nearly 70 percent of nurse managers say they are very concerned about the impact of staffing and scheduling on patient satisfaction, and more than half say they are very concerned about the effect on quality of care.

Given that staffing and scheduling practices is a significant factor in an employee’s job satisfaction and can often affect retention and turnover, managers should pay close attention to how they schedule their staff and consider how effective it is at meeting patient demand while keeping staff happy.

The Underutilized Workforce Solution in Healthcare

Predictive analytics has increased its presence in healthcare – from identifying inventory needs to predicting patient readmissions – but the 2016 AMN Healthcare and Avantas survey found that 80 percent of nurse managers were unaware of technology-enabled solutions like this. Using a predictive analytics technology solution can help improve staffing problems by accurately predicting workforce needs up to 120 days in advance of a shift.

Predictive modeling has been used successfully in numerous industries for over a decade, and is now gaining traction in the healthcare market. With continued pressure on provider organizations to improve the patient experience while driving down costs, predictive analytics offers a strategic approach to leverage data to help organizations meet demand. Utilizing scheduling software fueled by predictive analytics allows organizations to optimize their workforce by securing staffing needs months in advance of the shift.

Predictive analytics is able to churn raw data into meaningful and actionable insights that allows hospitals and health systems to grow and keep ahead of the curve. Advanced data analytics delivers beneficial outcomes in a variety of areas within healthcare, ultimately enhancing patient care.

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