In addition to developing an app that offers no-hassle refunds to unsatisfied patients, Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA, is taking other steps to improve the patient experience.
Feedback from Geisinger’s patient advisory council has led to several recent and ongoing initiatives, says Susan M. Robel, RN, BSN, MHA, NEA-BC, executive vice president, system chief nursing officer, and system chief patient experience officer. Professional appearance was a frequent concern for patients, for instance. A patient’s room may seem like just part of the workplace for staff, but for the patient it is a personal space, though with limited privacy, and the patient wants to know who is coming and going.
“Patients don’t know who is entering their rooms when everyone is wearing the same scrubs or if everyone is wearing something different with no rhyme or reason to it. Their identification badges aren’t enough because the patient can’t read that from across the room,” Robel explains. “So we are transitioning team members to uniform colors that identify their role in the care team. The patient will be able to identify who is a lab tech, a physical therapist, or an RN.”
Staff at Geisinger also are putting more emphasis on communicating with patients, identifying themselves promptly, and explaining why they are in the room. Geisinger leadership also is rounding more to interact with patients and hear their concerns.
“We feel at Geisinger that we have mastered the clinical focus, but how people feel they are treated is also a big part of what we do and the service we provide,” Robel says. “Exhibiting compassion and caring is also an important part of the patient experience.”