Undoubtedly, a healthcare worker wants to deliver the best care to their patients. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and things can go wrong that are out of our control where nobody is to blame. We are not talking about board level strategies or plans, just the simple and effortless things one can do that makes the experience of a patient that little bit better-even if things do not go to plan. Here are our top 5 ways to improve patient experience.
Smiling at your patient has a twofold benefit. Being a nurse is hard work as one is working the longest hours and arguably carrying the greatest workload. In such circumstances maintaining a high level of motivation and spirit can become very difficult. However, simply smiling at your patients during bed side visits or at hospital admission will reduce your stress and put you in a better mood. The act of smiling releases endorphin’s that battle to eliminate stress hormones. As a result, your productivity is likely to increase, whilst putting the body in a relaxation state. The other side of the coin is that the aforementioned benefits will translate in the quality of care you deliver to patients leaving a good impression in the minds of patients making them likely to have a better hospital stay. What’s more is that if something does go wrong, they may cut you some slack!
Communication is extremely important and in this day and age there seems to be endless ways of communicating, however, it can be the face to face communication that is the most difficult. There is not one clear cut ‘best practice’ way to communicate but some precursors include remaining patient when your patients may be giving you a hard time as well as speaking in a soft tone. The way in which you communicate should be different depending on the patient. For example, the language and style in which you communicate with an elderly patient will be different to that of a child. Being adaptable in communication is important.
Turn negatives into positives
A good rule of thumb to follow is to get out of the mind set of thinking “because I have made a mistake, I have not done my job properly.” On contrary, turn these adverse situations into opportunities to demonstrate to your patients your ability to recover and correct things when an unfavourable incident occurs. Turning a negative situation into a positive one will leave a lasting good impression on your patients.
Become friends with your patient
In our opinion a very important aspect is the ability to become your patients’ friend; it can really help them experience a positive stay at a hospital. When speaking of befriending patients, we can recall a movie where the dean of a medical school has a strict policy of telling his students not to become friends with their patients as forming an emotional attachment with patients can blur decision making. One of his students proves him wrong by befriending a patient, who has been in a vegetative state for a number of years who eventually awakens due to the love and compassion received by this student. Although this is only a movie, the concept translates into real life.
Patient feedback forms are an excellent way of receiving a breakdown of a patients experience in care. As healthcare workers (and this extends to any human being), we should always strive to improve on the person we were yesterday, therefore encouraging your patients to let you know how you’re doing whilst giving them the reassurance that it will not affect the care they receive is important.
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 get in touch or book your free knowledge sharing consultation.
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