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  2. Sustainability Ranks High in Global Healthcare Purchasing Decisions, New Research Reveals
  3. Consensus on quality
  4. Archive for the ‘Patient Engagement’ Category
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Transforming healthcare experiences—at least in regard to billing and wait times—may be as easy as making some simple communication adjustments. Most healthcare organizations already use patient engagement technology that enables teams to send patients automated messages to remind them about upcoming appointments.

That same technology can be used to send other types of messages to patients—like a message to clarify a bill, for example. Here is a closer look at two communication upgrades healthcare teams can make to deliver better experiences for patients:. Most patients agree that interpreting and paying medical bills is confusing. The financial stress of having to pay medical bills can be heavy enough. But add to it the confusion of trying to determine what amount is actually owed, what is covered by insurance, what services are included in billed costs, and the process of paying medical bills can become overwhelming.

A majority of healthcare providers 61 percent admit that they believe healthcare bills are more confusing than other bills. But some of that frustration can easily be avoided. Sending messages to communicate about costs and payments can eliminate stress caused by medical bills and improve overall healthcare experiences for patients.

Healthcare teams that use patient engagement technology to send appointment reminders can adapt their messages and use their existing technology to communicate about a variety of financial topics. This might mean sending patients messages following appointments to let them know when to expect a bill, what services will be included on their bill and what payment options are available to them.

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It could also mean following up with a message after a bill has been sent, to explain and clarify what costs are covered by insurance. Making this type of increased communication a standard part of the billing process allows patients to better budget for healthcare expenses, and it lessens confusion and frustration—in other words, a big patient experience improvement. Another time when patients want increased communication is when doctors are running late. More than eight in ten patients 83 percent think healthcare organizations are more likely than other companies to run behind schedule or keep them waiting.

Less than half of providers 42 percent think healthcare professionals actually run late more frequently than service providers in other industries. This explains why less than half 49 percent of healthcare providers say that their patients receive notifications text messages, voice calls or emails when there are delays that impact their healthcare appointments.

It is unlikely that delays could be completely eliminated or that providers could maintain an on-time schedule percent of the time. However, healthcare teams can certainly reduce waiting by leveraging their appointment reminder technology to communicate with patients when there are delays.

Other industries send similar messages to alert consumers of delays. For example, airlines send messages to notify fliers of delayed and cancelled flights. By doing this, it allows consumers to adjust their arrival time and it helps minimize frustration. When healthcare teams send these types of communications to patients, they can show patients their time is valued and help them feel better about their healthcare experiences.

Sustainability Ranks High in Global Healthcare Purchasing Decisions, New Research Reveals

Patients hold healthcare to high standards; they want healthcare experiences to outshine other consumer experiences. Taking advantage of opportunities to use technology-enabled communications to better communicate with patients is an effective way to deliver better patient experiences. And doing so can help healthcare become the consumer experience leader patients expect it to be. Nate Brogan.

Cigna Corporation

The infographic dives into how to capitalize on opportunities to enhance engagement throughout each phase—and to avoid the very real risks that could damage the patient experience. UnityPoint Health has moved from a siloed approach to improving the patient experience at each of its locations to a system-wide approach that encompasses a consistent, baseline experience while still allowing for each institution to address its specific needs. During Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan a minute webinar, now available for replay, Paige Moore, director, patient experience at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines, shares how the organization switched from a top-down, leadership-driven patient experience improvement approach to one that engages front-line staff to own the process.

Normal attrition rates for physician practices range between 10 percent and 30 percent, according to a new infographic by Solutionreach, Inc. The infographic looks at why patients leave practices and strategies to overcome patient attrition. Healthcare marketing does not often include the healthcare billing experience, which is understandable. Frank discussions about finances remain a taboo in our society. The rising costs of healthcare—and the increasingly large percentage of that cost carried by the patient—makes this a delicate subject for even the most talented marketing team.

Imagine a state-of-the-art health system. The clinical care is second to none. The staff is highly professional and empathetic. The amenities and design details ensure a comfortable and reassuring stay. Then the bills come. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Some come by e-mail, others by the post office. Some contradict each other, some are wholly unexpected and some are just plain wrong. The patient financial experience is ripe for marketing innovation.

The changing dynamics of U. Every statement sent by the provider to a consumer is an opportunity for the provider brand to show up in a positive way: with clarity, transparency, flexibility and compassion. But too often each billing statement is a brand opportunity lost—a disappointing financial experience that follows a positive clinical experience. Spend time with your revenue cycle team to understand existing policies and approaches to working with consumer as payer. Revenue cycle teams are on the front line of the provider-consumer experience as never before. Beyond the financial consequences of every dollar left on the table by the health system are very personal, human stories.

One of the hard realities is that provider billing is managed very differently than other financial obligations consumers face every day. What financing terms does your health system offer beyond financial assistance? What do your paper or digital statements look like, and how many are sent each week? What is the average post-insurance balance owed by patients and how has that changed over the last five years? How easy is it to pay a bill over time? How much of the total revenue of your health system is due from patients rather than commercial or government payers?

Use focus groups and online panel groups to talk to patients about the financial experience, and measure satisfaction with the current billing experience. A simple five box customer satisfaction survey will get the lay of the land. Or you could find out your financial experience NPS score. This platform should include a feedback loop that allows healthcare organizations to continually optimize and improve financial and satisfaction outcomes. Failure to include this element in the patient financial interaction platform will result in a sub-optimal experience for both patient and provider.

Think about the end-to-end patient financial experience. What determines how patients look at their financial interactions with your system? It could be balance due, demographics, clinical condition, or other things. Can you identify patient financial segments that share common characteristics for whom you can design a better experience? Understanding the financial side of your brand experience is an important building block in the overall effort to offer a positive consumer experience across the continuum of care.

About the Author: Will Reilly. There a number of ways to increase a HCAHPS score, including patient communication and respect, speediness, cleanliness and even pain management procedures. But one way that may be overlooked is how to raise that score through interior design. With so much commotion in hospitals, it can be difficult for patients to rest, which is a key component to the healing process. Standard noise levels should be 35 dB A during the day and 30 d B A at night, but peak noise levels in hospitals often exceed 85 to 90 db A , according to the Center for Health Design.

Aside from limiting overhead announcements and machine beeping, hospitals can reduce noise by focusing on the materials they use inside their facility. Carpet tiles or rubber flooring, as opposed to tile, can reduce the noise of foot traffic outside patient rooms. In addition, acoustic wall coverings and ceiling tiles act as giant sonic sponges, soaking up unwanted noise and echo. This can prevent any loud conversations or unwanted noises from traveling down hallways. Privacy and comfort rank high in ways to improve patient experience. According to the Hospital Construction Survey, many hospitals are now converting semi-private rooms into private rooms to increase patient privacy.

Plus, two patients in a room can increase the chance of infection.

Consensus on quality

Boston's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care — part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — is a cutting-edge clinical facility that not only takes into account the welfare of its patients, but its impact on the environment as well. Its green features range from water-saving plumbing fixtures to shades that automatically ascend or descend according to the available levels of natural light. As Dana-Farber's director of architecture Sherri Rullen points out, "Being LEED-certified makes for a healthier building, which in turn protects the health of our patients and staff.

The center, which serves around 33, patients each year, was designed by national architecture and engineering firm HGA. Opened in August , the center boasts a range of environmentally friendly features — from a green roof to water-saving fixtures that have helped reduce water use by almost a third. Energy-efficient interior fans and lighting lower power consumption, while the use of soundproofing materials and a natural color scheme inside the hospital create a peaceful environment for patients.

Incorporating sustainable design directly aligns with Affinity's mission and values. With over pediatric physicians in a range of specialized disciplines and programs, the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids is positioned at the forefront of healthcare for children in the U. An impressive 94 percent of building waste and debris — around 16, tons — was recycled and construction materials were sourced regionally. The facade also features custom-built glass, which reduces solar heat gain but still allows a large amount of natural light into patient rooms.

Hospital president and M. Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that straddles the line between hospital and hotel, thanks to a luxury design by global architects HOK. It has incorporated a raft of environmentally friendly features that led to it being awarded the Singapore Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Platinum Award.

Sustainable elements include carefully managed, high-efficiency water systems that afford savings of around 30 percent when measured against standard buildings and energy-efficient, occupant-sensing lighting systems.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Infographic

The building also features a green roof, which helps to maintain a constant temperature, while prime positioning of its facades produces a cooler environment for patients. The hospital also provides special parking amenities for low-emission vehicles and those that are part of carpooling schemes, as well as cycle racks to promote more environmentally friendly forms of transportation. Inside the hospital, low VOC-emitting finishing materials were used to enhance air quality, while high-efficiency windows and solar shading help to save energy.

Perhaps the main contribution to energy efficiency, though, comes from the hospital's dedicated on-site heat and power plant, which offers estimated savings of 46 percent over standard fossil fuel generators. It incorporates eco-friendly measures throughout, from the use of low volatile organic compound materials for the interior finishes to energy-efficient systems and a green education initiative for patients and staff.

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Green Building Council — which established the LEED certification system — commented, "The Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit further generations to come. Mary's Hospital , located in Sechelt, British Columbia, is not only purported to be Canada's greenest hospital, but it may well be one of the greenest healthcare facilities in North America.

Carbon-neutral heating and cooling for St. Mary's comes by way of boreholes and radiant slabs, while a kilowatt solar array helps to meet electricity requirements. Green principles have been so fully integrated into the hospital's design that it is set to foster energy savings of 40 percent — not just in comparison to standard hospital designs, but compared to other facilities that already hold revered LEED Gold status.

It is also the first healthcare facility in the U. The facility — which accommodates 73 beds — cleverly exploits natural light and solar shade to keep the unit warm in winter yet cool in summer.

Archive for the ‘Patient Engagement’ Category

One of the most notable attributes of Miami's West Kendall Baptist Hospital is its ability to endure a category five hurricane, with the structure capable of remaining totally self-sufficient for at least five days after such an event. Eco-friendly construction materials, including Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and low emitting paint, were used and sourced locally where possible and debris was recycled as well.

Dual-flush toilets and other water-saving features have helped to reduce water usage by 20 percent when measured against equivalent facilities, while high-efficiency electrical equipment including chillers and air-handling units conserve energy. Following a study, it was concluded that the facility could influence the future of hospital design. She added that developers of highly efficient hospitals had very much looked forward to the results of the informative study.

This distinction recognizes a host of green measures implemented in the center's design — ranging from room design that maximizes natural light to highly efficient boilers and glazing. Green Building Council just months later. Amongst a slew of eco-friendly initiatives, the facility features an occupant-sensing lighting system, computer-controlled ventilation and heating, and a cutting-edge motorized system to minimize glare from the sun.

Kiowa County Memorial Hospital was damaged beyond repair when a tornado tore through Greensburg, Kansas in However, hospital designers went on to create a much greener, LEED Platinum-certified facility in its place.

The 50,square-foot building, which was completed in March , even has kilowatt turbines on site. The facility is completely electric, while just under a third of its interior finishes are made with reclaimed materials. A great emphasis was placed on utilizing natural light, which has slashed artificial lighting use, allowing three-quarters of the hospital's indoor areas to be lit naturally.

Meanwhile, efficient lighting controls and office equipment and a "heat recovery system" boost the hospital's green credentials further. The facility's water usage takes environmental concerns into account too: storm water is collected and put into play by the hospital's low-flush toilets and "bioswale filtration" processes cut water waste in half. It can also lay claim to being a pioneer in another environmentally friendly area, as it became the first healthcare facility nationwide to meet all of its power requirements with energy from renewable sources.

Its use of geothermal, wind and low-impact hydroelectric power affords it a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the amount produced by cars. It also features an innovative ventilation system which — rather than recycling air inside the hospital — continually brings in fresh air from outside, offering significant air quality benefits for those using the facility.

The transformation of the Robert M. Mueller Municipal Airport in Austin into a mixed-use community was a huge undertaking, and it was one that resulted — among other projects — in the creation of one of America's most advanced green hospitals, the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.

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The innovative complex, which is part of the Seton Healthcare Family, is a trailblazer in its sector, as it's the first hospital to be awarded coveted LEED Platinum status. The facility's many green features include environmentally friendly interior paints and adhesives, a rainwater collection irrigation system, efficient toilets and lighting and a white roof that reflects light from the sun to keep the facility cool naturally.

The hospital even captures plant steam and reuses it as chilled water.