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Archive October 2020 XXI, No. 10

Top Tips for Improving Patient Satisfaction

Focus on clear communication, pain control and PONV prevention to get more positive reviews of the care you provide.

Outpatient Surgery Editors

BIO

HEALING TOUCH
Eye 35 ASC
HEALING TOUCH Holding hands or telling jokes can help keep patients calm, especially when inserting an IV.

Think of patient satisfaction like a Yelp review. With technology and social media at everyone's fingertips, patients can easily look up how your facility and surgeons stack up against the competition when they're deciding where to go for care. If you want to wow patients and ensure they post positive reviews when they leave your facility, pay close attention to their needs as soon as they schedule procedures.

Most patients want to talk to an expert who can answer their questions and concerns before and after surgery. That's why many facilities are delegating a member of their staff to be the point person for patient communication. Greg DeConciliis, PA-C, CACS, a physician assistant and administrator at Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites in Waltham, Mass., says his facility is utilizing a patient navigator for all of its total joint cases. "This individual is a point of contact for patients pre- and post-operatively, and handles their concerns efficiently, which maintains patient satisfaction at a high level," says Mr. DeConciliis.

Patients who are scheduled to undergo colorectal procedures at Stamford (Conn.) Hospital are contacted immediately and placed in the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) pathway, a series of multimodal protocols designed to improve post-op outcomes. Marilyn Cristina Erive, BSN, RN, CNOR, team leader of general and colorectal surgery at Stamford, says a patient once returned for repair of an incisional hernia — the often unavoidable result of emergency surgery — because of the quality of care she received the first time around. "The patient said our team was amazing," says Ms. Erive. "She never experienced pain, there was no infection, there were no complications — that's why she came back."

Patients are also are expecting to connect with technology that keeps them in the loop throughout their entire episode of care. For that reason, increasing numbers of facilities are using communication apps to connect with patients — and for good reason. "There are many platforms that complete the patient navigator duties," says Mr. DeConciliis. "I envision these apps being the future of care by touching base with patients at a moment's notice, and therefore keeping their satisfaction very high," says Mr. DeConciliis.

Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites is currently utilizing communication apps for its total joints program. Patients receive automated messages and reminders about the next step in their care leading up to their procedures. "The app directs patients to comply with pre-op care directives, which increases the likelihood of successful outcomes and ensures patients are happy with their care," says Mr. DeConciliis.

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