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3 Truths to Improving the Patient Experience


In the second of a two-part podcast,. William Maples, MD, explains that improving the patient experience can't happen through hospitality-industry amenities.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Physicians Practice Pearls Podcast. In this podcast, we'll bring you some of the most interesting and influential guests in healthcare. If you have any ideas for podcast guests or topics, email us at editor@physicianspractice.com.

Once again, the patient experience is the topic at hand as William Maples, MD, a onetime practicing oncologist and current chief medical officer of Professional Research Consultants Inc., a privately held healthcare market research firm, joins us for the second installment of this podcast.

In part one , Maples talked about why he thinks the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Clinician & Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) surveys are not an accurate representation of the patient experience.

Here, he doled out advice to practices on what they can do to improve the patient experience at their practice. First, Maples talked about a common misconception when it comes to improving patient happiness. "Is [patient experience] like a hotel experience, those extra amenities, with chocolates on the pillows and those things? That's really not what patient experience is about," he says.

Maples shared his top three pieces of advice to improve the patient experience. First, he says practices should know it doesn't take a lot of resources to improve the patient experience. "That's a myth. It doesn't take an incredible investment in technology to get this right," he said.

Secondly, Maples said to engage your physicians. "Physicians need to lead this work in partnership with nurses and administration. They have been left out of the equation…I haven't seen [another] industry where an initiative [becomes a strategic priority] and the leaders of that industry are not engaged to move that strategic initiative," he said. "That's what we've done in healthcare."

For the rest of Maples' advice, click to play the podcast above.

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