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Patient Satisfaction vs. Patient Engagement: It’s Time to Advance

July 3, 2018 | by Brian Shoenfeld

Organizations that practice Lean understand the importance of advancing the capabilities of people as part of respect for humanity. When applied to healthcare, that concept is not limited to your hospital staff; it’s also about empowering patients to take ownership of their health.

To truly measure the success of delivering care, you need to advance beyond patient satisfaction because this indicator does not capture what happens after a patient is discharged.

Instead, organizations need to focus on patient engagement to ensure their patients are equipped with resources, tools, and information to change their attitude and behavior about their health, which improves patient outcomes.

To drive toward the transformative goal of focusing on patient engagement, it is important to understand the origins of patient satisfaction.

What is the History of Patient Satisfaction?

In the 1990s, patient satisfaction became a focal point for healthcare organizations looking to measure the satisfaction of their patients. This led to the creation of standardized tools such as the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Survey in 2002 and other popular patient satisfaction surveys.

Although a patient satisfaction survey is still a valuable resource for hospital facilities, it is limited in its effectiveness to measure the real value that a patient receives from their care in your facility.

In fact, a 2016 survey by Becker’s Hospital Review found that only 17 percent of healthcare organizations believe the HCAHPS and other third-party studies of patients are useful measures.

Why Should Healthcare Facilities Embrace Patient Engagement?

When your team cares for a patient, the goal should not be limited to merely discharging the individual (patient satisfaction). Rather, the goal should be to identify deeper issues of patient engagement that leads to changed thinking (patient engagement).

The attitude in your organization should be a desire for the patient to:

  • Take greater responsibility for their health
  • Change their attitude toward living healthier
  • Commit to following their medical recovery plan before discharging

Unfortunately, your facility will struggle to optimize patient engagement if nurses are battling an inefficient system that prevents them from conversing with patients and engaging the patient’s family in providing follow-through support.

In a typical inefficient system, nurses waste time trying to chase down medication, call the Pharmacy to verify the amount of a dosage, or find a specific patient’s medication at the point-of-use medication storage location.

However, when nurses are supported to work at the highest level of their licensure, they can spend more time at the bedside engaging the patient about their health to produce change.

How Talon Supports the Transformation to Patient Engagement

For your organization to fully embrace the potential of patient engagement, you need to develop efficient workflows that optimize bedside nursing.

Talon understands the challenges of optimizing your workflows to support the nursing staff. That’s why we design, build, and manufacture products that improve the flow of medication through your facility to ensure an efficient workflow.

Specifically, our MedCab™ and MedCart™ product lines integrate directly into your workflow to support the full medication management and delivery process.

To discuss how our products can support your facility’s transformation from focusing on patient satisfaction to patient engagement, contact one of our Client Solutions Representatives today.


About the Author

Brian Shoenfeld

Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and two sons and cheers on Syracuse.