From healthcare accessibility to educational and cultural factors, the socioeconomic challenges that rural health providers face are vastly different than their counterparts in urban areas. Yet hospitals and healthcare systems of all sizes agree that an “exceptional experience” is what makes the difference for their patients, families and caregivers and creates lasting loyalty within their community.
What defines an exceptional experience? Is it personalized service, a compassionate and engaged provider, spiritual and emotional support, or a clean environment? It is likely a combination of all these things, and the definition certainly varies depending on who you ask.
Defining a positive, lasting experience becomes increasingly complicated when personal perceptions and expectations change just as quickly as advancements in communication and technologies evolve. In many ways, it is easier to define what exceptional experience is not.
So, if experience is intangible “stuff” and expectations are influx, how do we hardwire America’s rural hospitals to deliver an optimal experience for every patient and every staff member, every time? One way is to stay connected to the industry, be innovative and optimize proven strategies.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that suggests that positive patient experience can improve quality, safety, operational, and financial performance across care settings. Additionally, it is imperative to measure these experience moments. With 30 percent of Medicare reimbursements now tied to patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores, healthcare providers need innovative ways to improve patient care delivery and create market differentiation.
The question remains, with more focus on this work and less resources to support organizations, how do rural hospitals begin to tackle experience improvement? The answer is with collaboration and innovation.
ExperiaHealth is proud to support these organizations through the Rural Health: Experience Innovation Network, where mavericks are breaking new ground and designing new standards of care that are specifically tailored to meet caregiver and patient needs and expectations within rural healthcare organizations.
– Dr. M. Bridget Duffy