The British Medical Association carried out a survey which found that 62 percent of those asked believe the NHS is going to get worse in the coming years. They’re worried about funding, the possible impact of Brexit and increasing waiting times.
There are clearly concerns surrounding the NHS, so Trusts have to find innovative ways of improving patient satisfaction to ease those doubts. One of the most effective methods is with interactive patient systems.
Why Your Trust Needs Interactive Patient Systems
1. Happier Patients are Easier to Care For
A hospital can be a lonely place. Patients can experience a rollercoaster of emotions during their stay as they deal with health issues in unfamiliar surroundings. What makes the whole experience even more difficult is the lack of close contact with friends and family.
Loved ones can’t always visit during the designated hours and even when they can, they’re unable to stay all day. At night, it’s easy to feel lonely and worried without a friendly face by your side.
Interactive systems provide a link with the outside world. It can be as simple as keeping up with the new episode of Coronation Street or using social media to message friends during the night. When they're able to continue with aspects of their daily routine, a patient is less likely to feel isolated or worried.
Patients who feel comfortable and happy are easier for NHS staff to care for. They’re less likely to complain and be difficult, ensuring that staff can get on with their work and the patient’s stay in hospital is as short and stress-free as possible.
2. Staff Aren’t Distracted By Ad-Hoc Tasks
NHS staff do an incredible job. They work long shifts and often have to deal with stressful and difficult situations. The cuts to the NHS budget are well documented so staff’s time and resources need to be as efficient as possible.
An interactive patient system can include a request feature for patients to use at any time. If they want a glass of water, an extra pillow or need assistance going to the toilet, then they can make their request easily and quickly.
The request is sent to the right member of staff who is then able to provide the service that the patient needs. This means the patient is happy as their request is dealt with and only one member of staff has been needed.
The patient system manages the ad-hoc tasks that many members of staff get pulled on to. Healthcare staff already have responsibilities that they need to carry out but can be distracted by patient requests - either carrying out the task or finding someone who can. The interactive systems remove this inefficiency.
3. They Can Be Used to Shape Future Decisions
When you’ve ordered a takeaway or ordered something online, you’re probably given an opportunity to review the company you bought from. By providing feedback, Trusts can then use patient and visitor answers to improve services, making things better for the future.
Patients can be asked to fill out anonymous surveys, feedback forms and questionnaires through the interactive system. Because they can fill them out at their own leisure - rather than face to face with a member of staff - they’re more likely to take their time and be honest.
Ask patients about the experience they’ve had, the interactions they’ve had with staff and if anything could have been better. You might hear common complaints that you might not have considered, allowing you to make changes and improve patient satisfaction.
4. Reduce Waste and Save Money
Keeping all visitors fed and happy is a big operation at NHS hospitals around the UK. Different dietary requirements and personal preferences have to be catered for and it’s a big effort to make sure each person ends up with the right meal.
Understandably, the process sometimes fails and food is wasted. Patients are sometimes discharged, moved to a different ward or unable to eat because they’ve been scheduled in for surgery.
Meal ordering requests can be done through an interactive patient system. It’s a more efficient process that ensures the right meal reaches the right person. Less food is wasted meaning costs are reduced too.
With the SPARK® Media platform, the interactive patient system we have available, we expect an average NHS hospital to save up to £182,000 per year on food wastage.
SPARK® Media provides all of the benefits we’ve covered in this blog. It saves money, improves patient happiness and lets staff focus on their important tasks. There are different tiers available, depending on the services and functionality your hospital requires.
For a closer look at the benefits SPARK® Media can bring and the return on investment you can expect to see, download our free brochure today using the link below.