Removing the fear of technology
Healthcare workers can develop a fear of technology owing to a bad experience of using technology in their work environment. It is important to dispel these fears because technology does have an important role in healthcare. Over the last decade, technology has improved the way we communicate, made information more accessible and has optimised and streamlined daily processes in the areas such as banking and shopping. Therefore, there is no doubt that technology can have a similar impact within healthcare.
Technology for patients not for technology
Technology for patients rather than technology for technology is the concept of investing in technology for the benefit of patients and not for the greatness of the technology itself. There is little point investing in the latest and greatest technology if it does not match patient and organisational needs and causes disruptions and delays in everyday processes. Healthcare organisations must identify the process that they wish to streamline and carefully assess the environment before investing. We explain using the example of patient experience.
There is a huge scope to the use of technology to assist with the collection of patient experience data. If you are a healthcare organisation thinking about using technology to collect patient experience, our assessment of the different types of devices will help you make the correct choice.
Tablet and other touch screen devices are a brilliant way to enhance communication and relationship between a nurse and patient. A patient experience questionnaire placed on a tablet device is completed by patients and the results sent back to a central database or a spreadsheet. Furthermore, if a patients’ experience is collected on a daily basis it is possible to make changes to their care or the environment they are cared in as and when as opposed to knowing after discharge when its too late. For example, a patient may have a complaint about the temperature or food, the details which would be sent to a ward manager, to be addressed on the following day.
Kiosks are stationary touch screen devices but are also an effective method of collecting patient feedback as they employ the same methodology and workflow as tablets. The only difference being, of course, that they’re not mobile and hence are not practical to collect on a daily basis or be placed in environments where patients themselves have little mobility. The optimum deployment of kiosks is at a location where patient complete once they’re discharged. Although debatable, patients are more likely to give a fully honest reply when there is no staff member sat with them (they are not in fear that the feedback they give will negatively impact any future care received).
The most appropriate use of web forms is at post discharge. There are two methods of doing this, the first is to pass relevant information onto the patient such as a link to the survey and explain all necessary things during the discharge process and the second is to send the same information via post a period of time after discharge. The drawback with web forms is that there is less likely to be high levels of engagement as patients are out of the hospital environment and back to their daily lives and the danger that the more time passes between discharge and survey completion, the more likely a patient will not remember the finer and more important details of their experience.
To achieve maximum engagement, the best option is giving patients a variety of choices, which is beneficial to hospitals too. For example, a tablet or a ‘self-service’ method of giving feedback will record a daily experience whilst a kiosk captures an overall experience. Moreover, patients have varying functional abilities thus giving them multiple options for providing feedback will likely increase submission rates.
DCC is an organisation that strives to educate and inform NHS employees on the benefits and value of using data and how it can assist them in performing their job better. We have previously worked on patient experience, clinical trials and therapy outcome projects (and many more). We’d love to impart our decades worth of expertise and experience, please contact us or book your free knowledge sharing consultation.
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