Improve Patient Experience in the ER: The Ultimate Guide

Healthcare

Entrance to the emergency room

Before COVID-19, the numbers of visits to the ER were about 130.0 million in 2018. Approximately 50% of those hospitalized went through the emergency department first, which means that hospitals that focus on providing positive patient experiences in the ED can expect to see a positive ripple effect throughout the rest of the hospital.

 

The patient experience represents a critical part of a hospital’s ability to attract and retain patients. When patients form positive relationships with their doctors and nurses, they become more engaged in their care and develop loyalty and love to the organization treating them correctly.

 

In this article, we’ll dive into the benefits of creating a positive patient experience in the ER and eight ways you can provide an exceptional emergency department experience at your hospital. 

Stethoscope

 

Why the Patient Experience is So Important

 

Patients are becoming savvier, which means it’s essential to provide an excellent patient experience to impact their lives positively. In doing so, the patient will become a loyal consumer that comes back when they need to. 

 

However, suppose hospitals neglect to adjust their revenue cycle to align with the patient population they serve. In that case, the business will see a rise in debt, and their patients will look for care at another facility. 

 

Related: Our Core Values

 

Benefits of a High-Performing Emergency Department

 

There is a strong link between the emergency department’s efficiency and the patient experience. 

 

When an emergency department is doing what it is supposed to, it increases patient safety, improves health information management, and enhances the overall quality of the patient’s clinical experience, Modern Healthcare states. As a result, higher patient satisfaction scores make it easier for hospitals to reach their clinical, financial, and operational goals more quickly.  

 

Increases patient engagement

When families and patients are engaged in the process, there are many, many personal benefits you can expect to reap. Also, when patients and families work together, it contributes to the hospital’s performance.

 

Studies have shown that there are benefits to providing higher clinical services that improve the patient’s engagement. Benefits include:

  • Increase employee satisfaction and retention  
  • Improve quality and safety
  • Improve patient outcomes  
  • Improve financial performance 
  • Respond to Joint Commission standard
  • Improve CAHPS® Hospital Survey scores 
  • Enhance market share and competitiveness 

 

Enhances an organization’s revenue

Insurance payers use the patient experience as a metric to assess the quality of care that healthcare organizations provide, consequently changing how those payers structure contractual agreements. New types of a partnership between care facilities and payers, based explicitly on these factors, are becoming evident in the industry.

Operations at an Organization Improve

Operation managers focus primarily on cost control. The current healthcare system overuses expensive, technological, and emergency-based treatment. But, when the patient’s experience is improved, it makes many things run smoothly, potentially cutting down on the high costs from care.

Hospital reception

 

How to Improve the Patient Experience

Creating a high-performing emergency department whose primary goal is patient satisfaction can significantly benefit your hospital. Hence, getting in touch with a professional leader like VISAYA to help you improve patient experience in the ER is a well-worth investment for your hospital. 

 

Related: How To Protect Patient Health Information: 2021 Guide

Research

Your first step is to dig out the department’s pain points. Then, outline the patient’s journey through the emergency department. Please take special notice of associates (clinical and non-clinical) your patients encounter at each point in their emergency department course. Observe the patient check-in and discharge process. Take note of all the gaps in services or areas that aren’t streamlined.

 

Begin with research so you can identify areas particular to your hospital’s ED that need attention, like business process services, healthcare information management, and finance and outsourcing

 

Don’t forget to research social media. Review sites like Yelp, or Google My Business, are some great starting places.      

 

Patient Flow

Crowded emergency rooms can create stress and anxiety and can detract patients from having a positive experience. The National Center of Biotechnology Information states, “crowding tends to be linked with a reduction in the quality of the care delivered and poor patient outcomes.” On the other hand, “shorter patient journey times are associated with improved patient satisfaction and reductions in mortality and morbidity.” 

 

Hence, optimizing patient flow is essential to increasing the patients’ positive experience in the emergency department. 

Patient Support

Nobody wants to go to the ER. These visits are done in a rushing manner, and patients and family members often forget some essentials. 

 

For that reason, vending machines are sometimes the only food source that patients and family members can quickly gain access to eat. In these situations, candy bars and chips are probably the last things they will need to eat, and that’s why it’s essential to provide healthy options to your ED. 

 

Put yourself in your patient’s shoes and ask yourself, what items would I like to see if I was in the ER? Think about what would make the patients stay more comfortable, healthy, and smooth while waiting in the ER. 

 

Are you looking for professional guidance to improve your patient experience in your hospital? Contact our experts at VISAYA today to help you!

Customer Service

Going to the ER is no minor deal, for patients are usually in pain and need immediate help. These factors demand employees to provide excellent customer service to the families in distress, making them feel they are getting the appropriate care.  

 

When you create a positive bond with the patient and their family, the service they receive will be valuable and help run the process more smoothly. It also communicates to associates that excellent customer service is an essential part of the job.  

 

Related: Managing Health Information

 

Clean and Safe Environment

Every organization that deals with the health of other individuals should be expected to have high standards of cleanness in their healthcare facility. When patients enter the emergency department, they should see that they should feel like they are being taken care of in this aspect. The level in your hospital will influence your reputation as a healthcare provider. It will impact your patient, your employee’s satisfaction and retention impacts rates, and your brand will be well-spoken. 

 

Although housekeeping is essential to help the brand free from bad reviews, cleaning will also ensure the patients, families, and clinical staff security and safety from germs.  

Concierge Services

Concierge services can help patients and visitors get their questions answered without relying too much on doctors or nurses. This can help improve the emergency department experience for patients. Doctors and nurses lose time performing clinical functions because they are easy targets for patient and visitor questions. 

 

Adding concierge services offers benefits like:

  • Provide longer, more frequent appointments.
  • More availability for high-in-demand doctors.
  • Provide preventive — not reactive — care.
  • Manage all aspects of patient care.
  • Cost-effectiveness.

 

Promote Teamwork

Teamwork is an essential part of the journey to improve the patient’s experience in a hospital setting. The journey of care for patients is a complex process that highlights the necessity for health specialists to cooperate and communicate clearly with each other. 

 

Teamwork is also a solid predictor of a positive patient experience. Like any other department, ERs can provide the best patient experience when everyone works together toward the same goal. 

The Bottom Line on Creating Better ER Experiences

 

Concentrating on the patient and the patient’s view of their experience is a great way to rally your team towards your ER’s goal of improving care.

 

Reasonable wait times, friendly staff, and excellent care are all expectations of our patients. If you keep the focus on the patients, create the image in your team, and work with your underperformers, your scores will improve, and everyone (including your employees) will be proud of their efforts. 

 

Do you have a healthcare facility, like a hospital,  that requires high-end Healthcare Information Management services? Call us at +1 (949) 705-6502 or fill out our contact form to help you achieve your goals!