Consistency, Culture, and Other Common Challenges in Patient and Family Care

Patient care is evolving beyond medicine as healthcare organizations develop integrated experiences for both patients and their families. Even as all organizations thoughtfully shape the use of technology around these experiences, industry leaders have different ways of conceptualizing and prioritizing the results.

NGPX partnered with WBR Insights to conduct an industry survey benchmarking organizations' maturity in their use of technology, inclusion of diversity, and strategies for optimizing patient and family experiences. The subsequent report, New Techniques and Technology Adoption for Family and Patient Experiences, will be published here on the NGPX website in November 2018.

Among the 98 respondents surveyed, most are formalizing their approach to patient experiences, which encompasses all aspects of care--from medical treatment to emotional wellbeing.

Now, healthcare providers are prioritizing the experiences of patient families as a new step in a more holistic healing environment. In fact, 65% of respondents claim their teams use strategies that formally prioritize experiences for families. Thirty-five percent of teams do not, implying their efforts are invested--formally or informally--in only patient experiences.

Patient Experience Maturity

Researchers explored how patient experience strategies extend to family experiences. They provided criteria that measured the degree to which those strategies extended across both on a five-point scale. (The 'Above Average' and 'Excellent' results will be revealed in the formal report.) The results show that a majority of care teams (51%) rate their patient experience strategies as average, below average, or poor.

Most in this segment consider their strategies to be average (45%)--while their resources and capabilities have shortcomings, they provide acceptable experiences for patients and typically their families. Meanwhile, those who rate their strategies as poor (3%) claim their resources and capabilities are underdeveloped. They provide substandard experiences for patients and their families. "Below Average" strategies (3%) fall somewhere in between these two qualifications.

Common Challenges of Strategic Development

Healthcare organizations represented in these segments share some of the same challenges in realizing their patient- and family-experience goals.

Among those 51% of respondents who rate their patient experience strategies as average, below average, or poor, improving frontline medical staff engagement is most often cited as their greatest challenge.

Sixty percent in this segment claim creating an environment of reliability and consistency is among their greatest challenges. As one respondent claims, "Our patient service centers are spread across two states, so consistency in training and evaluation of the training [in the] long term is difficult. Phlebotomists have a high turnover rate as well, which makes things more difficult to manage and oversee."

Only 43% of respondents in this segment claim aligning culture and diversity with their care programs is among their greatest challenge. However, this figure stands out in that it is a cultural consideration among other, more medical-oriented priorities. According to one respondent:

"Diversity is not limited to race, gender, sexual preference or age. We include culture, special needs and disabilities as well. Our organization has an entire department dedicated solely to Diversity to insure our employees are well versed and prepared to service patients from all origins, races, and lifestyles."

(Seven additional challenges will be revealed in the formal report.)

A Positive Trajectory

the first chart tells us that healthcare organizations are taking both patient and family experiences seriously--our most promising finding. Their greatest challenges are the most important aspects of future patient family experiences as well--the three subjects include direct medical care; aspects of security and reliability; and a more culturally diverse, welcoming environment.

In our final report, readers will discover to what degree healthcare organizations are prioritizing diversity, the directions they're headed with new technology adoption, and what direct feedback they can offer about their unique experiences on these issues in their respective fields.

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