By Tami Greene, AIA, NCARB
Now, more than ever, the quality of Healthcare Design is measured and rewarded on the basis of patient satisfaction. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare continues to evolve into a consumer commodity; where proactive patients require facilities that integrate with today’s culture of empowerment and choice around the services we choose.
Many healthcare providers may fall short in meeting that need without considering the use of technology throughout every stage of the care continuum. Technology can greet patients at home even before their first face to face encounter with hospital staff and guide them seamlessly through their appointment or hospital stay.
In turn, investing in smart technology will not only improve the patient experience, but it also creates a more streamlined process for staff. As a healthcare designer, I often find myself asking, “why wouldn’t you?”
One rapidly growing trend that incorporates technology into the patient experience before and after visits is the use of patient portals. According to CDW’s ‘2017 Patient Engagement Perspective Study,’ there has been a 30% increase in patient signup for portals from 2016 to 2017 for a total of 74% of patients surveyed reporting that they were registered with a healthcare portal.
The success of portals depends on the proactive measures taken by hospitals to ensure patient understanding of what a portal has to offer. First, patients must be educated as to what the portal is, how it benefits them, and how to sign up. This education should start by the practice engaging the patient during an office visit; even offering a hands-on tutorial.
At that time, they can also ask the patient if they would like to enroll or schedule someone to contact them. Second, the interface must be easy to use. Finally, the information available through the portal should be appropriate and relevant to the patient. [Read more…]