The Wayfinding Solution from Gozio has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association.
How mobile apps can increase patient satisfaction and HCAHP scores.
Navigating through the average hospital can be very difficult.
Hospital layouts are often times not logical due to years of renovations and building additions.
Confusing signage and multiple entrances add to the anxiety patients felt before the visit. Visual clutter and medical jargon on current signage only serves to increase frustration and anxiety.
It is no surprise then that patients and visitors get lost, arrive late and end up stressed or even angry. In fact, research shows that more than 30% of hospital visitors have to ask staff for directions.1
Staff naturally wants to help, but these interruptions can have an impact on the quality of care. In fact, hospitals attribute 43% of medication errors to workplace distractions such as visitors asking for directions.2
Impact to the bottom line
If hospitals don’t help patients with wayfinding, the overall patient experience can be negatively affected. Given the current healthcare changes, that experience counts for a lot.
The Affordable Care Act has made patient satisfaction more important than ever. Consumer surveys have become a cornerstone within Medicare’s quality incentive program. Hospitals failing to meet those quality standards can face significant penalties. Patient satisfaction is a key component of pay-for-performance metrics. Under the CMS Hospital Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing (HIVBP) program, Medicare reimbursements are linked to patient satisfaction and patient surveys.
Press Ganey, who performs the HCAHPS surveys, conducted a study and found that hospitals lowest in patient experience are most likely to be penalized the maximum 1% of their Medicare-base DRG. Press Ganey CEO Patrick Ryan goes as far as to say: “What the study shows is that when one is focused on that patient experience, it has dramatic impact on your overall operating performance in a hospital”.3
How mobile apps can improve the patient and visitor experience
Hospital administrators are doing all they can to engage patients and make their experience as comfortable and frustration-free as possible. A hospital branded smartphone mobile app may be just the solution needed to improve patient’s experience for several reasons.
- “Blue Dot” indoor navigation leads patients on a direct path from their home, to the appropriate parking garage, and on to their destination. This is all done in real time.
- Mobile apps can adapt to changes in the hospital environment, such as relocated offices, elevator repairs, construction related closures, etc.
- Patients can see way-finding information, special notices, cafeteria menus and hours, gift shop hours, health education material, fundraising messages, branding, and many other marketing and messaging objectives.
Informed and empowered patients lead to fewer staff interruptions. This translates into more time spent on patient care activities, interaction with family members and improving patient experience. A proprietary mobile app provides the conduit needed to meet these goals, build lasting relationships, increase loyalty and drive positive referrals.
Hospital administrators are not the only group concerned improving patient experience. In their guidelines, the Joint Commission identifies wayfinding as a key component of any patient centered strategy. Two relevant guidelines are:
- Ensure easy access to health care organization services by using clear communications in all wayfinding materials and signage.4
- Wayfinding – the visual and contextual clues to aid a person’s navigation through the organization – should be able to accommodate the directional needs of everyone – from staff to the non-English speaking patient.4
A hospital branded mobile app is an easy way to satisfy these JCAHO requirements.
Good communication also tends to be the single most important factor affecting overall satisfaction with care across different patient categories.5
In summary a mobile app helps patients and visitors arrive at their appointments on time and with less stress, reduces staff interruptions and reduces missed and late appointments. This results in improved patient experience and positively impacting HCAHPS.
1. Brown, 97
2. Stevenson, 05
3. Healthleaders Media, 12
4. The Joint Commission Report, 07
5. Press Ganey, 03