10 Mar 2014

Put the patient back at the centre of care

With Trusts working hard to improve hospital’s efficiency and staff engagement, as well as getting their systems completely paperless in time for 2018, it’s sometimes easy to forget what this is really all about. Every new system that makes a unit more efficient, every mobile app that gets a staff member engaged and every interface that helps eliminate a paper record, should do so with the patient’s experience in mind.

This might sound obvious to most, but according to reports by the CQC, 50 out of 100 hospitals inspected provided a substandard experience of care to older patients. Though it isn’t down to the IT department to ensure an excellent standard of care is provided by ward staff, there is a lot that can be done to help.

If we look outside the healthcare sector to the commercial world; ‘customer-centric’ is one of the buzz words of the moment. Thanks to the multitude of new ways that customers are engaging with a company, centralising their information so it is consistent and accurate across every channel is essential to good customer service.

In the report ‘The Blueprint to Becoming a Customer Company’ by our partners; MuleSoft and Salesforce, Sarah Burke refers to the importance of this synchronisation across a business:

“It’s not just about the data in your CRM system, but also the data in your marketing tools, your billing system, your support platform, etc. When you change a billing address in your CRM system that change needs to be reflected across your order management and billing systems. When a customer logs a support ticket, it should be reflected in the CRM lead record.”

This enables staff to give a better level of service. They have all the information about their customer in front of them. Not only that, it is all accurate and up to date, giving that member of staff the full customer story.

If we now look back at healthcare organisations, the same business model still applies. Within their whitepaper ‘Formalisation of a Patient Experience Strategy’, Riddlebox talk about ‘The Lifebelt’ model and the importance of creating a culture within the NHS, of seeing the patient as a primary customer.

The lifebelt model sees the integration and communication between departments as the initial building block for a higher level of customer service. This goes back, on a basic level to the synchronisation of customer information within the Salesforce report. In order to expect a higher level of customer service from staff, hospitals need to empower them with information. This information needs to be accurate and up-to date. They need to be able to engage with other departments easily so they remain on the same wavelength. This will ultimately put the patient at the epicentre of the Trust and improve patient experience significantly.

If you want more information about any of these topics, or want to find out how Integrella can help you achieve these objectives on a tight budget contact us.

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