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7 Innovative and Actionable Ways to Improve Patient Experience

6 Minute Read

In a recent survey, the proportion of patients who rated their GP experience as ‘very good’ was around 48.2%. This is an increase from the previous year and shows the industry is making positive progress in improving the patient experience. However, the way people in the UK access healthcare services is changing and the number of patients waiting to receive NHS care hit a record high in recent months.

Although we’ve taken steps forward, there’s still work to do. With more technology at our disposal than ever, several innovative ways exist to improve the patient experience. We’ve highlighted seven of the most impactful methods and services your hospital or Trust should implement in the future.


  1. Offer Online Scheduling and Appointment Reminders
  2. Follow Up Appointments With a Survey
  3. Share Helpful Content on Social Media and Other Online Platforms
  4. Involve Families in the Process
  5. Adopt a Digital Engagement Platform 
  6. Integrate Care & Journey Mapping
  7. Offer More Entertainment Services


1. Offer Online Scheduling and Appointment Reminders

Put the power back into the hands of your patients by creating an online platform to book, amend and cancel appointments. When patients call GP surgeries to make appointments, they can often be left on hold for extended periods, causing dissatisfaction. 

This process doesn’t fit their busy schedules. By giving them access to a booking platform, you’ll also provide them with flexibility and convenience.

Lighthouse Medical Practice is an excellent example of an organisation which has successfully promoted online GP services to their patients. Over 3,500 of their 14,500 patients have signed up for online GP services, and this number steadily grows by around 20 new sign-ups every week. Find out how they did it here.


2. Follow Up Appointments With a Survey

Receiving feedback from patients is one of the best ways to improve patient experience in healthcare. This can be done by sending a text or email after a patient has visited, which will yield higher engagement as patients aren’t likely to submit this information unless prompted.

Capturing your patients' thoughts also ensures you can discover new ways to enhance key service delivery points throughout the patient journey. NHS North Bristol is an example of a Trust that runs various surveys to gain valuable feedback, which it can then use to improve the patient experience. Find out more about the surveys here.


3. Share Helpful Content on Social Media and Other Online Platforms

There are over 57 million active social media users in the UK. To keep up with consumer trends, your hospital or Trust should spend some time creating a social media strategy and improving your online presence. These platforms are effective for engaging with patients and educating them on how they can manage their own health. 

Recently, NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, Birmingham Mind and Living Well UK collaborated to publicise the launch of a 24/7 mental health helpline with a multi-channel communications campaign. Learn more about the project and its success here.


4. Involve Families in the Process

Families have a crucial role in every patient’s healthcare. By including a patient’s family, you’ll become allies in your efforts to improve quality and safety. Involving patients and their families in the patient’s healthcare influences informed choices, safe medication use, infection control initiatives and promotes the practice of self-management.

But that’s not all. It also increases employee satisfaction, influences better patient outcomes and improves a hospital’s financial performance.

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5. Adopt a Digital Engagement Platform

More and more patients are willing to play their part in improving healthcare experiences. A digital patient engagement platform enables your patients to access educational resources, communicate with staff between appointments and provide feedback when they see fit. 

The key benefit of a digital engagement platform is it provides you with rich data you can leverage to align with your strategy and make informed decisions. 

South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust is an example of a healthcare organisation which has leveraged an engagement platform to improve the patient experience. They implemented a solution that provided some key benefits. Find out what these include here.


6. Integrate Care & Journey Mapping

When all parties are included and given the power they need to influence patient experience, the benefits extend to everybody. The NHS staff engagement strategy is a recent example of different healthcare organisations coming together to achieve goals. It goes beyond patient experience to consider how staff morale might impact experience.

South, Central and West (SCW) ran a virtual event to guide how hospitals and Trusts around the UK can improve their waiting list management. Those who attended the event were shown modelling tools and learnt about best practices to reduce their waiting list numbers. 

Get more insights about the event and how this collaboration can improve the patient experience here.


7. Offer More Entertainment Services

Time spent in hospital can be lonely. Entertainment services can make a big difference in improving morale and ensuring patients feel at home during their care. Different entertainment systems, such as newspapers, TV & streaming services, games and video calling can offer different patient experiences and boost engagement.  

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is an example of a healthcare organisation looking to implement a patient entertainment solution to benefit staff and patients. Discover how we helped them meet their goals and provided their patients an opportunity to save over £615k a year.

Patient experience is a fast-moving and ever-evolving focus area. The situation changes quickly, meaning hospitals and Trusts need to keep on top of trends and take action when implementing innovative patient experience solutions.

To help you do this, we’ve created a patient experience guide.


A 4-Year Roadmap for Exceptional Patient Experience: Everything You Need to Know

In our guide, we discuss everything there is to know about the patient experience and what the future looks like. From the factors that need improvement to who’s responsible for driving certain outcomes, download your copy to ensure your organisation is ready to continue contributing to positive change.

Patient Experience


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