Improving Patient Experience With Personalized Service

February 10, 2013
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Patient Experience, Patient Satisfaction No doubt you have interacted with a warm and engaging healthcare provider that has impressed you with their advanced emotional intelligence skills, and was successful at establishing a strong brand perception for the organization they represented.

Patient Experience, Patient Satisfaction No doubt you have interacted with a warm and engaging healthcare provider that has impressed you with their advanced emotional intelligence skills, and was successful at establishing a strong brand perception for the organization they represented. While it may be obvious to service advocates in the healthcare industry that “service” is the primary objective of healthcare providers, how that service is delivered is what differentiates good healthcare providers from great healthcare providers.

The way in which a service is delivered can be just as important as the service itself. Take for example two different healthcare providers who can sense a patient’s fear of a certain procedure and take different approaches to easing the patient’s concerns. The first decides to go into details about the procedure, often speaking in complex medical terms that the patient cannot comprehend. The other, more empathetic, healthcare provider takes the time to communicate comforting and reassuring words to ease the patient’s concerns. To the patient, the actual medical service remains the same, but the experience is positively altered with the guidance of the more empathetic provider.

Industry leading healthcare organizations train their employees to personalize the delivery of a service based on the perceived preferences of a client. In order to properly “sense” an individual’s preference for service delivery method in healthcare, one must be able to watch for verbal and nonverbal cues, including:

Engagement level:

Healthcare providers should be able to detect a patient’s level of engagement and adjust their approach accordingly. Some patients may be hungry for information and want to be involved in the course of treatment, while others prefer to be comforted and assured of a quick recovery. Providers must be able to tailor and personalize their service approach to successfully meet every patient’s expectation

Body Language:

Most communication experts claim that over 90% of communication is non-verbal. Therefore, in order to personalize the delivery of healthcare related services, healthcare organizations must select and train healthcare professionals with high empathy, relationship-building, and emotional intelligence skills

Credibility and Competence:

Patients in need of care are often vulnerable and uncertain about their course of treatment. Behavioral cues can reveal someone’s degree of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Healthcare providers must be able to build a strong bond with patients leveraging their competence and experience in the medical field 

The most successful healthcare organizations foster a work environment where providers and healthcare professionals are empowered to own and nurture personalized relationships with patients. In the current competitive landscape of the healthcare industry, personalized service delivery can be a strong differentiator that can separate the good healthcare systems from the great healthcare systems.

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