When visiting healthcare facilities, patients are generally worried, stressed, and sometimes even in pain. Therefore, hospitals need to create a comfortable environment. In this article, I've shared my recommendations on what to consider when you want to improve the patient experience.Healthcare facilities are under enormous pressure to provide an improved quality of care to more patients while coping with limited resources. For hospitals, in particular, this often means a stressful experience for both patients and staff alike.
During my career, I have met many managers who have shared the reasons why it’s difficult to streamline the patient experience. Below I have summarized some of the most common challenges.
Virtual queue management system in hospitals for safe patient journeys
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for a queue management system that can handle patient flow in a safe and efficient manner. With the regulations to maintain a safe distance and a limit of maximum number of people in indoor space, healthcare facilities need to adapt and be agile to maintain the services while keeping everyone (including patients, staff, and visitors) safe.
Here are a few examples of use cases where a virtual queue management system can help with safer patient journeys, especially in the current situation regarding COVID-19 pandemic:
- Manage appointments, arrivals, and queues for residents and people who are getting their COVID-19 vaccination with patient scheduling solutions
- Manage the flow of people who want to get a COVID-19 test
- Reduce the number of people waiting in the lobby or waiting room by implementing virtual queuing with Mobile Ticket
Common challenges preventing an enhanced patient experience
A common factor among hospitals is that they have tight budgets. At the same time, managers state that they are struggling with enhancing the patient experience without increasing the costs.
Due to the limited available resources, some hospitals find it hard to streamline the patient's complete visit from pre-arrival to post serving.
Stressful work environment
Long queues and dissatisfied patients are a stressful factor for many employees, which creates a challenging working environment.
Lack of data
Some hospital managers state that they have a shortage of accurate data and input from patients, which in turn makes it hard to identify and implement efficiency improvements
Why a queue management system is vital for hospitals
To improve the patient experience and staff satisfaction in an industry with limited budgets and resources, managers need to consider their investments carefully.
My main recommendation to those managers is to consider a queue management system, or as we like to call it, patient journey management system. The reason we call it patient journey management system is because it is a set of tools that help hospitals to enhance the patient's entire visit, from check-in to post service.
The benefits of the patient journey management system are significant. In the short term, it can increase sales and productivity by up to 30% and decrease costs by up to 30% by ensuring that the right patient is at the right place at the right time.
So, why is the patient journey management system important for hospitals? Below I have summarized four reasons.
Investing in a patient journey management system opens up opportunities to reduce cost throughout the patient flow by making it more effective every step of the way.
Improving the patient experience
With a patient journey management system, you can achieve an optimal waiting time, reduce perceived waiting time and increase the quality of service.
Increasing staff satisfaction
By streamlining the patient flow and making it more efficient and structured, a patient journey management system can increase staff satisfaction.
Collecting important data
The data is automatically captured by the patient journey management system at every step in the process – helping you to enhance performance while opening up opportunities for benchmarking.
Examples of results of hospital queue system implementation
Below are a few examples, based on real-life cases, of what hospitals have achieved with a patient journey management system.
- A hospital pharmacy reduced their waiting time from 2 hours to 15 minutes
- A hospital reduced walking time resulting in 10% FTE (Full Time Employee) savings
- A hospital served 3% more patients in the same "space"
- A hospital automated 25-30% of reception desk tasks
To learn more about patient journey management systems, I recommend you download the presentation below.