How hospitals can build trust and enhance the patient experience

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How hospitals can build trust and enhance the patient experience through data and knowledge
Jeff Fuller, Vice President of Analytics Solutions, CipherHealth

In any industry, systems designed to enhance the customer experience revolve around a unique premise: trust. In healthcare, trust is critical to the patient experience, but it is still largely ignored in our conversations about health transformation.

In order for patients to feel confident about the care they receive and for a great patient experience, they need to trust their caregivers. It is an endemic challenge in healthcare, as patients face a growing nebula of caregivers, both traditional and virtual, using different modes of communication for each.

Decentralization and democratization of health care make it possible for patients to choose where and how they receive their care. But in introducing so many options to meet your healthcare needs, it’s not uncommon for some patients to feel a waning level of connection and a sense of trust with their providers.

This means that providers need to earn that trust by showing patients that they are being listened to, listened to, and most importantly, known to them.

Knowing patients comes down to one key factor: data. The information that care teams are able to gather and analyze and act effectively determines patient satisfaction, experience, and trust. The cascading effect leads to a more effective relationship that results in a better experience and results for the patient.

It is important to collect the right data, at the right point in the continuum of attention. Providers should strive not only to capture clinical data, but also behavioral data, attitudes, and conversation data. When conversational data is contextualized with EHR clinical data, hospitals can create a more complete picture of each patient and customize their treatment. It’s just a matter of knowing where to gather information and how to build a system that centralizes and digests data for easy analysis.

Assembling the pieces of the data puzzle

Clinical data collection processes are well established. Mature EHR systems serve as an information center for patient health data, enabling a rapid exchange of information between providers that improves care and promotes positive health outcomes. However, rounding up this clinical data with a conversational context to allow for personalized and family care should involve more than just information obtained in a clinical setting.

Providers interact with patients in many more environments and places than just by the bedside or in the examination rooms. Continuous care and involvement spans from pre-appointment and preventive disclosure, point-of-care surveys and digital rounding, and post-discharge follow-up. Each of these points in the healthcare journey represents opportunities to collect and synthesize data, but many providers fail to make the most of it.

By creating robust outreach and rounding solutions, based on proven and uniform templates and scripts that align with areas of institutional interest for analysis, vendors can not only more easily leverage the unrealized value of routine interactions from a data collection perspective, but it can also offer high-touch experiences that build patient loyalty. It is a mutually beneficial experience: When a provider sets up before an appointment to confirm and request information about preferences, the patient is shown that the provider cares about their experience and time. In turn, the provider can use this information to provide better services at both the individual and macro levels.

Make the data actionable

Information cannot live in a vacuum. An institution may implement more comprehensive data collection practices, but will not realize the value of this information if it is not properly summarized. The first step? Make sure you have a patient-centered data strategy and a storage strategy created for reuse.

The insistence of health systems on connected and interoperable information technologies and stacks has slowly forced the hand of EHR systems to enable broader solutions and data. As the number of ways to connect to EHR systems has grown, it is possible to link engagement and clinical data more closely, and to do so in a consistently patient-centered manner. Whether by integrating backgrounds or applications created specifically for different computer systems, providers can centralize and standardize data, creating a complete view of the patient and enabling better care and better decision making.

Not only can care decisions be made in the rich context of behavioral and attitude data, but providers can also orchestrate disclosure and involvement based on the patient’s most up-to-date clinical vision. Pre-care disclosure can automatically be tailored to the type and purpose of each appointment, and post-discharge disclosure can seamlessly incorporate the nuances of care planning needed for each patient. Beyond that, institutions can leverage reports and visualizations to look at macro-level data and spot current trends, leveraging more data-driven operational and clinical decisions.

The result? Trust me. Once providers demonstrate through their disclosure that they really know all the patients, that they care about their preferences, that they remember details about them apart from the strictly clinical ones, patients feel more seen, heard and known.

About Jeff Fuller

Jeff Fuller is the Vice President of Analytics Solutions at CipherHealth – a leading healthcare technology company that creates innovative patient participation solutions that improve communication and satisfaction. With more than 24 years of experience in health system operations and analysis, Jeff’s work is aimed at serving health transformation with a commitment to the person’s holistic health and high value care. As an expert in innovative analytical solutions, Jeff believes that our industry is at a key moment in raising the commitment to digital health as a catalyst for personalized, proactive, and convenient conversations and health relationships. Prior to joining CipherHealth, Jeff was the Executive Director of Analytical Solutions at UNC Health.

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