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Why Patient Experience Matters?

Patient engagement is currently considered the cornerstone of the health care system revolution for its positive impact on health outcomes and health care costs.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting that the association between better patient experience and health care quality. A recent article published in JAMA Internal Medicine demonstrates this association. The research compares the patient experience as measured by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings and higher quality of care in hospitals in the United States. The study found that a higher CMS star rating was associated with lower patient mortality and readmission's.
The US National Library of Medicine (PMC) conducted a systematic review of the literature analyzing the impact of information technology on patient engagement and health behavior change. The PMC research reviewed in detail a total of 170 articles. Overall, 88.8% (151/170) of studies showed a positive impact on patient behavior and 82.9% (141/170) reported high levels of improvement in patient engagement. The review clearly has shown that IT platforms can enhance patient engagement and improve health outcomes.
There is also a growing body of evidence demonstrates that lack of patient engagement is a major contributor to preventable deaths. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of deaths in the United States are caused by modifiable behavioral issues.
A good example of the impact of embracing technology to enhance patient engagement in the healthcare process can be demonstrated by the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center case study. After implementing a mechanism to promote patient and family engagement, the center saw a 62 percent reduction in medication errors, a 40 percent reduction in falls, and a 50 percent decrease in length of stay.
In addition to the impact on the quality of care, a robust patient engagement program has been found to have clear benefits for the health organization.
A research from the Gallup management journal shows that patient and family engagement consistently predicts hospital performance on an array of crucial business outcomes, including EBITA. According to a Deloitte study hospitals with “excellent” patient-experience ratings have net profit margins that are two and a half times higher than hospitals with “low” ratings (4.7% vs. 1.8%). Moreover, a 10% improvement in the number of patients that grade their hospitals with either a 9 or a 10 (out of 10) correlates with a 1.4% increase in profit margin.
Patient-and family-centered care also decreases litigation and malpractice claims and leads to lower costs per case due to fewer complications and shorter length of stay.
For many hospitals, establishing a brand identity around patient and family engagement becomes a competitive edge in the marketplace.
A recent McKinsey survey of more than 2,000 patients found that 41 percent indicated they would be willing to switch hospitals for a better patient experience. The survey findings are backed by many real-life examples. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio increased its market share with additions in both new and returning patients after implementing patient and family engagement strategies.
In conclusion, research shows that engaged and informed patients will experience less anxiety and will be more active in their treatment. The result – reduced burden on the care team and most importantly, improved safety and better care results.


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