PatientWay Blog

How Patient Self-Serve Technology Can Become a CEO’s Best Friend

Written by Jay Lawrence on March 22nd, 2011. Posted in Appointment reminders, Hospital management, Hospital process redesign, Hospital reports, Patient registrations, Patient satisfaction, Patient Self-Service, PatientWay

HospitalRating How Patient Self Serve Technology Can Become a CEOs Best FriendThe Excellent Care for All Act, 2010, introduced last year by The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, is driving hospital boards to change their Executive compensation models.

As was highlighted in The Sun Times a few days ago, look no further than the Grey Bruce Health Services as a great example of an organization that has responded to the Act by linking Executive compensation to quality targets.

So how can hospital Executives meet (and exceed) their quality targets? Well for starters, patient self-serve technology can be an enabler for improving the patient experience, and can help hospital executives meet several of the requirements stated in the legislation, including:

  • Executive compensation which will be required to be linked to achieving improvement targets set out in the annual quality improvement plan
  • Patient surveys to assess satisfaction with services
  • Patient relations process to address patient experience issues and reflect its declaration of values.

Here are a few examples of how patient self-serve technology can help hospitals and their executives meet quality targets:

1. Patients can (want) to do more
Have patients do as much as possible before they walk through the door.  Consider allowing patients to preregister from home and validate their demographics over the web

A precedent has been set by the Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, who has moved preregistration to the web. See recent case study for more details.

2. Use automated appointment reminders
Patients being late or missing appointments creates frustration for everyone.  Automated appointment reminders can help address this problem by giving patients a timely voice or email notification (with any important instructions) for their upcoming appointments.

3. Create shorter lineups
Steal a page from the airport playbook, and allow patients to insert their health card and check-in for their appointments at a self-serve kiosk. While they are at the kiosk, use that opportunity to further engage the patient by providing important instructions, like a wayfinding map, or by capturing useful information, for example a brief medical questionnaire to assess their current health condition.

The Stronach Cancer Centre is a great example of an organization that using self-serve kiosks to allow patients to enter their symptoms at the same time as they register.

4. Use kiosks to capture survey data
Distributing and collecting patient satisfaction surveys is a time consuming task, not to mention the fact that someone will need to tabulate all that information into a spreadsheet.

Making surveys available on kiosks makes it easier (and more enjoyable) for patients to leave their feedback while waiting to see their care provider or before leaving the hospital.  By capturing the information electronically, you will eliminate data entry errors and have access to the data in a timely and workable manner.

Enhancing the patient experience is an important piece to the overall effort to enhance the delivery of health care services.  If you are a hospital Executive, remember that patients are the most under-utilized resource in the system.  By having them do more, time and costs efficiencies can be gained…which will increase everyone’s satisfaction scores.

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Jay Lawrence

Jay Lawrence is the CEO of PatientWay, a leading provider of patient self-service technology and process improvement services.  Jay's vision of bringing measurable cost and time efficiencies to health care organizations, while improving patient and staff satisfaction, is quickly being realized as leading providers such as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Stronach Cancer Care Centre, are just a few of the many that have adopted PatientWay technology. Jay is a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal's Forty under 40 Award in 2009, Industry Canada Innovation Leader also in 2009, and Chair of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Path to Recognition (PTR) National Steering Committee.

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