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Patient expectations for a hospital stay

Patient expectations are an important consideration when a patient is admitted to a hospital. Perception of care is directly influenced by their expectations before Admittance! Incoming patients may have specific ideas about what they will encounter or how their stay will progress. Often, those perceptions are based on prior experience, online reviews or anxieties about what they’ll encounter.

Patient satisfaction wraps up with patient expectations, and satisfaction has a very real quantitative value. The Journal of Patient Experience has an excellent study on this topic. In the study, the authors offer real world examples of patient expectations of care versus received care.

Patient expectations for a hospital stay can be alleviated with interactive devices and patient-centered apps made through onboarding.

Although a number of factors constitute satisfying patient expectations, some of the most common measurement devices are based on HCAHPS and other regulatory satisfaction mandates. For example, Medicare now collects patient satisfaction data and cuts reimbursements for facilities performing poorly.

Healthcare providers using interactive tools to encourage patients to be more involved in their care can create a more collaborative patient relationship and reduce readmissions. That’s another factor affecting satisfaction.

What’s true is that individuals who are more active and engaged in their care are healthier individuals, and managing expectations up front can go a long way toward higher satisfaction.

Create a partnership environment

Thoughtful patient onboarding with digital devices at Admittance helps set positive expectations for a hospital stay.

With thoughtful personal discussions, clinicians meet patients where they are in terms of education, comprehension and their level of anxiety. Another tool clinicians use in creating a health partnership is offering patients a sense of control and empowerment. Supplement existing steps in the process by providing a range of digital apps that let patients actively participate in their own care.

As a provider, having simple control over delivery of content, communication applications, data capture and analysis, entertainment, telehealth and remote monitoring lets you focus on building rapport with your patients. When you add devices and interfaces that meet organizational, departmental and population needs, you’ve got a baseline for more engaged patients.

HCI BedMate Tablet TVs combine convenience, functionality and interactive, touch screen capabilities for patients and staff.

Providing access for empowerment

A number of factors are pushing interactive, digital systems to the forefront of hospital care standards, which are based on changing patient expectations. By providing access to their chart information, daily schedules, discharge goals and medications, caregivers help alleviate concerns patients may have about their stay. A digital patient room whiteboard displays this information, and it updates when a change is made to the EHR. A Hall Whiteboard outside the room lets caregivers see important clinical information before they even walk through the door. And a Unit Whiteboard shows this same important information at the Nurses’s station for quick access. All of this transparency creates an environment that patients can trust.

Another step in setting positive expectations is to “onboard” a patient. That helps them have an understanding of how their care will be administered. Providers can onboard by making a Welcome Video and a Patient Portal available. Even non-tech native patients can easily understand a video with information about the hospital, their patient rights, their Care Team, and what role they can play in their care. A Patient Portal provides access to health education content, entertainment options and relaxation content to feel calmer. Tech-savvy patients appreciate how easy it is to navigate a Patient Portal to get to the apps they want.

Digital, touch-enabled patient whiteboards in hospitals benefit patients and caregivers alike.

Don’t forget the caregivers

Supporting Care Team expectations is as important as supporting patient concerns, and helps caregivers with anxiety management in patients. By using an integrated platform like MediaCare to automatically update information during rounds, caregivers free up nonclinical task time. With that time available, they spend more quality time with patients and establish a stronger bond. Interactive, digital whiteboards in a patient’s room, at the Nurses’ Station and as hall signage create a collaborative network so that patients and Care Teams are on the same page, with fewer errors. And that’s really key – fewer errors. Not only does that strengthen the caregiver relationship with their patient, it increases referrals and community standing.

Entertainment and personal options create positive patient expectations

Social Channel access on HCI's BedMate Tablet TV, providing Android apps for higher patient satisfaction

Help patients feel more comfortable

The bedside in-room patient TV can be much more than just a television. It offers the opportunity for patients to stay connected with family and social networks via secure video. Helping patients stay in touch with their normal activities results in higher quality survey scoring. Not only that, but it helps with patient compliance, too.

Social connection using HCI patient video app on HCI digital patient whiteboard.

In tandem with entertainment, digital devices encourage participation with easy to use educational content and self-service choices:

  • Voice activated room controls
  • Mobile apps and casting to personal devices
  • Order meals, right from the bedside and based on phycisian-directed dietary guidelines
  • Communicate with nurses and clinicians via video
  • Bedside room environmental controls, like temperature, lighting and window shades
  • Search medications to understand side effects and warnings
  • Review Daily Schedules, goals, treatments and discharge plans to stay on track

Hospitals moving toward a smart digital solution not only help patients overcome anxiety, but add to better long-term recovery.

See for yourself how HCI helps hospitals exceed patient expectations.

J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec; 7(6): 1724–1731. Published online 2020 Apr 28. doi: 10.1177/2374373520921692 Retrieved 01-20-23.