Patient experience

4 Hospital Facility Management Tips for a Better Patient Experience

According to research on factors influencing patient satisfaction, the most influential factor is the “medical staff’s service attitude.” This was followed by medical staff services technology and hospital convenience. 

In this context, hospital facility management plays a crucial role in influencing patient satisfaction. The right hospital facility management processes and software help the staff put their best foot forward daily and throughout their shift duty times. This blog covers four hospital facility management tips that can go a long way in creating a great patient experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Hospital facility management covers a wide range of activities, which can significantly influence the patient experience
  • Hospital facility management, when done right, can also help hospitals achieve efficiencies and better utilisation of resources
  • A bed-tracking system helps hospitals gather actionable insights for better operational decisions
  • Attaching RFID tags to equipment can help hospitals identify defective equipment faster and thus provide a better patient experience. RFID tags also help reduce replacement costs
  • Using data for predicting demand and usage patterns can help plan providers and resources for a seamless patient experience and cost savings
  • Hospital facility management can also help in better utilising nurses’ time for patient care

Why is Hospital Facility Management so Important?

Hospital facility management covers a wide range of activities, such as maintenance of equipment, timely closure of non-clinical requests, repairs and maintenance within the facility, ensuring high levels of cleanliness and hygiene, and much more. 

We understand that a large number of hospitals have undergone the quality accreditation process of NABH or JCI and have great processes already in place. However, there is still a lot more scope to use data analytics and harness technology to enhance efficiencies within in-patient operations like never before. Also, hospitals can gather various learnings from other industries, including airline, hospitality, e-commerce and other service sectors.

4 Must-Know Hospital Facility Management Tips

Here are four hospital facility management tips many hospitals can benefit from. 

  • Implement a Bed-Tracking System

Efficient patient throughput requires a high degree of coordination and communication. For hospitals, reducing the room turnaround time leads to increased revenues as well as increased patient satisfaction.

If a room is ready sooner, a waiting patient is required to spend less time in the emergency department. Hospitals can use process-mapping techniques as well as heuristic approaches integrated into an existing bed-tracking system. 

Through this technique, hospitals can gather actionable, real-time data to help inform and execute operational decisions. This also allows system managers to spot bottlenecks, hold individual units and employees accountable for any issues, and track the health system’s overall performance.

  • Attach RFID Tags to Beds and High-Value Equipment

Hospital beds and portable testing machines are high-value items in hospitals that can occasionally go missing or get misplaced. Keeping track of these items is critical in hospitals because the replacement cost is very high. Using an RFID system is ideal for keeping track of these assets within the building.

Because of the expensive and critical nature of these assets, if an RFID system is deployed, hospitals typically can use an active RFID Real-Time Location System (RTLS) to know where they are at all times. 

Some hospitals implement the system to read only certain areas or rooms,  while others set up their systems to cover entire hallways or floors. RFID tags also help recall defective equipment faster, thus helping provide a better patient experience. 

  • Use Data to Predict Demand and Usage Patterns

It is usually assumed that emergency admissions are random. However, hospitals that have deployed software to collect and analyse data would attest that though even emergencies are random, they can identify some trends. These can help them with predictability, manage staff resource allocation and have materials/ medicines stocked accordingly. 

Besides this, predicting staffing and resource levels on a particular day will help save the hospital money by reducing wastages. It can also help decrease patient wait time by assigning the correct number of providers to the predicted volume, thus improving the patient experience. 

  • Better Utlilise Nurses’ Capabilities

Nurses typically have to coordinate with various ancillary services like cleaning, electrical, insurance, laboratory, pharmacy etc. A system to buzz, allocate the work to relevant administrators, and setting reminders would help nurses focus a lot better on patient care.

An example of improved patient care with a lesser workload of nurses would be clubbing the team of professionals, including doctors and nurses. So nurses who are specialised in Nephrology or Oncology would work only in those specific IP units.

This helps nurses provide critical feedback to the doctors on how the patient’s signs and symptoms are showing, making the care a lot more specialised.

Another way to use nurses’ extra time would be to reduce the workload of doctors. For example, nurses can perform certain tests proactively (based on set protocols) before a doctor’s visit.  This would make the doctor’s visit more efficient and help them provide better advice during the rounds.

Final Thoughts

With newer technologies comes the opportunity to streamline and make future patient hospital stays pleasant and smart with a well thought-out patient experience. Healthcare providers can achieve these goals by utilising a combination of design systems, hospital facility management software, data analytics and patient flow studies. 

Reference:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6489650/

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Author | Pooja George

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