Why Patient Entertainment Isn’t the Same As Patient Engagement
Author: John Lilek
In Canada, hospitals have fixated on reducing their patients’ average length of stay to make room for sicker people and minimize the workload for frontline nurses. The patient experience simply hasn’t been something that many hospitals have had enough time, money, or reason to consider improving — until now.
Patients expect superior, engaging experiences in every area of their lives now that more than 90% of Canadians own mobile devices. As a result of these powerful mini-computers, there’s a growing demand for more efficiency, transparency, and patient control at hospitals using digital devices.
According to GetWellNetwork, a software developer that “[empowers] patients with convenience and control,” improving patient experiences can create a series of positive outcomes, including:
- 30% more positive responses on patient satisfaction surveys
- 54% decrease in complications
- 45% reduction in readmissions
- Additional downstream revenue opportunities
Patient experiences with positive outcomes also [lead] to improved results for the hospital including: better clinical staff retention and [higher] hospital patient satisfaction survey scores. As well, positive patient experiences create “…improved work environment and [energized] clinicians and caregivers,” reports TeamHealth.
Investing in patient engagement is no longer an option for hospitals; it’s becoming a necessity to enhance patient experiences to attain better survey results on Inpatient Care.
However, I’ve noticed some confusion across the healthcare industry between patient engagement and patient entertainment. This mix-up can prevent hospitals from reaching their full potential.
To help your hospital streamline tasks, cut down admin work, and ultimately, secure funding, I have outlined the meaning of patient engagement and why it’s business-critical below.
The Biggest Misconception Around Patient Engagement
From my experience, many hospital staff associate patient engagement with television units and other entertainment solutions. But patient engagement is not the same as patient entertainment.
Hospital leaders must understand the difference between these two concepts to improve processes and refine the overall patient experience at their facilities.
To put it simply, patient engagement all comes down to giving people more control and visibility over their hospital visits. Hospitals that invest in patient engagement can, for example, introduce bedside technologies and mobile apps that offer patients the power to educate themselves, manage the lighting and temperatures in their rooms, request meals, and access their test results.
Meanwhile, patient entertainment systems only focus on keeping people happy during their hospital visits.
GetWellNetwork reveals that 78% of consumers are unsatisfied with the digital customer experience in the healthcare industry right now. Entertainment systems are not capable of revolutionizing the patient experience — but engagement solutions are.
Hospitals must advance their patient engagement technologies if they hope to digitize and give people insight and power over their recovery.
Engagement systems can be harnessed as essential clinical applications that boost patient satisfaction before, during, and after their hospital visit — all while relieving staff of unnecessary work.
Improving the Future of Patient Care With Critical Engagement Solutions
Imagine a hospital where patients play an active role in their recovery by communicating their needs and feedback to hospitals with the touch of a button.
Hospitals could deploy electronic surveys to patients on their pain levels to get real-time data on how well their medications are working. Instead of calling for a nurse to answer questions about meals, patient inquiries could be sent electronically directly to kitchen staff. Information can also be sent to people instantly in advance of their hospital visits and after being discharged to boost preparedness and better educate them on recommended next steps.
In this environment, doctors and nurses don’t need to worry about triaging every request from patients and can spend more time helping people heal.
By adopting an effective patient engagement system, this vision can become a reality.
Hospitals are beginning to notice that they can reduce patient wait times, improve communication with primary caregivers and patients, and heighten overall staff efficiency with the right engagement solution.
With more than 80% of Canadians willing to share their health information anonymously, patient engagement applications can help hospitals collect user feedback and data. Healthcare organizations can then use that information to understand and boost the quality and speed of their patient care while reducing readmissions in the long run.
Selecting a Robust Engagement Solution
Before you jump into a partnership with any patient engagement service provider, I recommend you choose a partner that can integrate and sustain its solution with your hospital’s existing technology and processes.
Your patient engagement solution should also offer both clinical and administrative applications to free up patient beds as efficiently as possible. At the same time, patient-facing technology should give people control and visibility over their healthcare journeys.
It’s important to select a partner that has already succeeded in bringing patient bedside engagement technology to other hospitals in your country as well.
That said, FlexITy is the only organization that has implemented a robust patient engagement solution in Canada.
FlexITy led the transformation and creation of patient engagement solutions for Mackenzie Health in Ontario. As a result, Mackenzie Health’s Cortellucci Vaughan hospital now offers intelligent, interactive rooms that give patients visibility into the schedule of their staff and control over room lighting, temperature, blinds, whiteboard, TV, and internet — all from a single platform.
Mackenzie Health’s hospital staff can also easily monitor their patient’s well-being to boost productivity.
With our robust set of patient engagement solutions and successful experience in the healthcare industry, you can depend on FlexITy to improve hospital technology, processes, and user experiences.
By working together, we can give patients better, faster service and information, which will inevitably free up beds quicker, lower readmissions, and lead to more funding for your hospital.
Get an idea of how your hospital can benefit from our engagement solutions by contacting us here to book a VIP tour of a FlexITy-powered patient room.