Innovation, Technology, and The Patient Care Experience
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Innovation, Technology, and The Patient Care Experience

Alison Havens, Director Patient Care Services, McLaren Health

Alison Havens, Director Patient Care Services, McLaren Health

Think Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Apple meets healthcare. Technology has increasing advancements that affect and enhance the patient experience. The pandemic introduced new challenges and opportunities to improve our communication channels, interaction with patients and their families, and using technology to connect with them. This environment demanded innovation and creativity to ensure patients and families felt listened to, understood the procedure or diagnosis, and their role upon discharge. Empowering the patients and families we serve through innovation, technology, and the human touch is vital now more than ever before.

Technology helps the providers partner with patients. There are multiple businesses in the patient and consumer experience space. Press Ganey is the most known in the industry and has been leading performance improvement and patient experience for over 35 years. They recognize the need and understand technology is a main driver to improve the patient and family experience. Press Ganey acquired Forsta in April of this year. Forsta is a leading global technology provider of customer and employee experience, and market research. They understand how vital technology is in improved outcomes for patients, families, and healthcare team members.

Time at the bedside with the patient is crucial. Technology can be the backpocket tool providers go to when explaining a diagnosis, procedure, discharge instructions, expectations, when to call your physician versus normal post-operative pain. There are multiple companies in this space. Some of which focus on the front end and others using data and AI to tell healthcare organizations what their patients and families desire, want, need, and expect.

To put in perspective, there are roughly 7.5 billion humans and approaching 335 million in the United States. We are experiencing staffing shortages in the healthcare industry. While this is an ebb and flow in any industry, we are experiencing an extended ebb and technology is paramount to closing the gaps in healthcare and crucial to improving patient outcomes, team members experiences, and decreasing costs. We know meeting patients where they are facilitating a better experience for the patient and provider. It can decrease frustration and misunderstanding on both sides and the patient is more likely to adhere to their discharge regimen. Gathering individualized data on patients is key.

"The pandemic introduced new challenges and opportunities to improve our communication channels, interaction with patients and their families, and using technology to connect with them"

There are multiple companies in the consumer space. UST is a company that is helping to reshape the consumer and patient experience. They offer a variety of platforms in the patient and customer experience space and work with healthcare organizations to improve outcomes, decrease costs, and offer AI solutions that increase efficiency. There are many opportunities for technology companies to partner with healthcare organizations whether it’s connecting with the patients via videos and apps or maximizing AI to increase reimbursement and/or creating individualized algorithms about patients so we can better serve them and their families.

As healthcare organizations strive to achieve the best outcomes for our patients and families, implementing technological advances to create a rewarding and successful consumer and employee experience is paramount. Research shows four out of five stars don’t keep customers coming back. Automation and AI can assist healthcare organizations create the ultimate patient and team member experience and achieve five stars.

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