5 Key Elements of a Winning Surgical Patient Experience


What does a “winning patient experience” look like for surgery practices, hospitals, and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs)?

“As a healthcare provider, I believe that a winning surgical patient experience is one that is personalized, informative, and supportive,” states Dr. Ashvin Dewan, Orthopedic Surgeon and Co-founder of CaseCTRL. “It is an experience that empowers patients to take ownership of their care and that leaves them feeling confident and satisfied.”

Personalization, information, support, affordability, and a warm and welcoming environment are the key elements of a winning surgical patient experience.

  1. Personalization 
    Patients want to feel like they are being treated as individuals, not just as another number. This means that the information and care they receive should be tailored to their specific needs and preferences. For example, if a patient is elderly or has a language barrier, the provider should make sure to provide information in a way that is easy for them to understand. 
  2. Information
    Patients need to be informed about their care in a way that they can understand. This includes providing clear and concise explanations of their condition, treatment options, and risks. The provider should also be prepared to answer any questions that the patient may have.
  3. Support
    Patients need to feel supported throughout their care journey. This means having access to a team of caring and knowledgeable professionals who can answer their questions and address their concerns. The provider should also be available to provide emotional support, as needed.
  4. Affordability
    Patients want to know that they can afford their care. This means providing them with clear and transparent information about costs upfront. The provider should also be willing to work with patients to find ways to make their care more affordable.
  5. A warm and welcoming environment
    Patients want to feel comfortable and relaxed during their care. This means creating an environment that is clean, inviting, and staffed by friendly and helpful professionals. The provider should also make sure that the physical environment is conducive to healing, such as by providing comfortable seating and access to natural light.

How to put these tips into practice: 

  • Listen to your patients.
    The best way to improve the patient experience is to ask patients what they want and need. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or simply by talking to patients one-on-one.
  • Empower patients.
    Patients want to be involved in their care. This means giving them the information and tools they need to make informed decisions about their care. The provider should be willing to answer patients' questions and provide them with resources to help them learn more about their condition and treatment options.
  • Be responsive.
    Patients want to be able to get in touch with their providers when they need to. This means having a system in place for handling patient inquiries and complaints in a timely manner. The provider should also be responsive to patient's emotional needs, such as by offering support and encouragement during difficult times.
  • Go the extra mile.
    Sometimes the little things can make a big difference in the patient experience. This could mean providing patients with a warm blanket or a cup of coffee, or simply taking the time to answer their questions in a thorough and informative way. The provider should be willing to go the extra mile to make patients feel comfortable and cared for.

Examples of how to put these tips into practice:

  • Personalization
    A provider could create a personalized patient portal where patients can access their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their providers. The portal could also be used to provide patients with educational resources and tools to help them manage their condition.
  • Information
    A provider could create a video library of educational content about common conditions and treatments. The videos could be made available to patients on the provider's website or through the patient portal.
  • Support
    A provider could offer support groups for patients with chronic conditions. The groups could provide patients with a forum to share their experiences and learn from each other.
  • Affordability
    A provider could offer financial assistance to patients who are struggling to pay for their care. The assistance could be in the form of discounts, payment plans, or charitable donations.
  • A warm and welcoming environment
    A provider could create a healing environment by using calming colors, soft lighting, and comfortable furniture. The provider could also play relaxing music in the waiting room.

Here are some additional tips for improving the patient experience: 

  • Use clear and concise language. Avoid using medical jargon that patients may not understand. 
  • Be respectful of patients’ time. Don’t keep patients waiting longer than necessary. 
  • Be honest and transparent. If there are any unexpected costs or delays, be sure to communicate them to patients upfront. 
  • Thank patients for their business. A simple thank-you can go a long way in making patients feel valued. 

By following these tips, healthcare providers can create a patient experience that is both memorable and meaningful for both surgical and non-operative patients.

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