What comes to mind with the phrase patient care?
Friendly nurses and doctors next to a patient with a smile on their face?
Having a bad experience because you had to wait hours to see a physician?
Believe it or not, the equation for patient care and satisfaction is much broader than you may first think. And it has much more to do with maintenance and operations.
With the change of patients becoming more like consumers, the power has moved from the providers and insurers to the individual, creating a unique marketplace for healthcare services with a heightened emphasis on patient care.
And it's making a financial impact, too. In fact, 30 percent of a Medicare reimbursement decision is now tied to patient satisfaction scores on the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey used by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
“Clinicians might check off all of the important clinical boxes when caring for a patient, but it’s often the small — perhaps, nearly imperceptible — nonclinical elements of a hospital stay that most affect whether a patient has a good experience,” said Kelly Hancock, executive chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic, in an article in HFM Magazine.
These small details that make a big impact could range anywhere from lighting and doors to missing or broken equipment and the general noise level. Whether we realize it or not, patients are taking in each of these factors to make up their unique experience.
The first step is to recognize the important role that the maintenance team plays within your healthcare organization. They are not just fixing issues on a day-to-day basis – they are the glue that holds your patient experience together.
Some elements that can improve your maintenance process include:
When all of these pieces come together, it creates a platform for a better Environment of Care and patient experience.