How Better Patient Transportation Improves Hospital Patient Experience Scores
Patient experience scores are one of the most important ways hospitals can measure their success in providing quality care. In recent years, there has been a growing focus on patient transportation and its impact on patient experience scores.
What Do Patients Look for When Being Transported?
Patient transportation is a critical part of the hospital experience but is often overlooked. Poorly managed transportation can result in long wait times, missed appointments, and frustrated patients.
Patients expect a service that arrives on time, ensuring they get to scheduled appointments, to a rehabilitation unit to continue healing, or finally home after a taxing hospitalization.
In addition, patients naturally hope for comfort during their transport. They require transport from specialized services because they’re typically unwell. Whether it’s arthritis due to age, recent injuries from a trauma, or needing specialized equipment such as oxygen, patients value comfort.
A well-prepared crew with the necessary equipment to properly care for a patient during transport ensures high satisfaction survey scores. This expectation is especially important during high-risk transfers. A patient will notice and appreciate a professional and well-trained transport crew that has an ambulance stocked with necessities for those in their care.
Lastly, patients value the experience of friendly transport service providers. This factor may be the most important determinant of satisfaction, as most patients form their opinions BASED ON THE SERVICE RECEIVED. Despite the timeliness, level of comfort, or the amount of equipment present during transport, a patient’s satisfaction scores will be higher if their service provider is friendly.
What Hospitals Look for When Scheduling Transport
Hospital staff have minimal time to make multiple phone calls or send faxes to coordinate services. Depending on the needs of the patient and the method of transport, managers may assign this task to different hospital staff members. Between nurses, unit secretaries, case managers, and discharge planners, these tasks can be shared, split, or put all on one person. Thus, hospitals look for scheduling that's easy for staff across a spectrum of titles. If a nurse takes on the responsibility of this task, it may lead to distraction from providing care.
Consequently, hospitals require efficiency when scheduling patient transport. Depending on the size of the hospital, hundreds of patients may require transport in one day across multiple shifts. A scheduling system that saves time, effort, and energy is essential.
Scheduling transport with a service that has issues with availability can be a barrier for hospitals. Hospital staff who blindly call for patient transport that is not open to scheduling are wasting time and resources.
The correct level of patient oversight required to transport a patient is also considered when scheduling. The requirement of a paramedic versus a basic emergency medical technician is something hospitals need to know. Therefore, they look for a service with an appropriately credentialed service provider.
An on-demand tool that allows for clear communication with a pool of service providers would help STREAMLINE THE WORKFLOW of what often takes several hospital staff members to coordinate.
How to Increase Patient Transport Satisfaction Scores
Knowing that they were quickly and easily transported to their final destination will be the most recent outcome on a patient's mind when asked about their satisfaction. After illness or injury, a smooth, timely, well-equipped method of transportation provided by a professional service means a positive end to an otherwise often negative experience.
When a healthcare organization prioritizes transportation, missed or delayed healthcare is prevented. Of particular interest to hospitals is the fact that there is a CORRELATION between increasing patient satisfaction and patient safety, positive health outcomes, and adherence.
Hospitals that focus on implementing effective resources will create smooth workflows and fewer barriers for the patient as they move through the continuum of care. Coupled with high-quality service, patient satisfaction scores are sure to increase.
VectorCare Can Help
Hospitals that invest in better patient transportation management see a number of benefits, including improved patient experience scores. Better patient transportation can lead to shorter wait times, fewer missed appointments and happier patients.
Enhanced patient transportation is a SMART INVESTMENT for any hospital that wants to improve its patient experience scores. By providing a stronger patient transportation experience, hospitals can improve their overall patient experience scores and give better care.
Davidson, K. W., Shaffer, J. A., Ye, S., Falzon, L., Emeruwa, I. O., Sundquist, K., Inneh, I. A., Mascitelli, S. L., Manzano, W. M., Vawdrey, D. K., & Ting, H. H. (2017). INTERVENTIONS TO IMPROVE HOSPITAL PATIENT SATISFACTION WITH HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND SYSTEMS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. BMJ quality & safety, 26(7), 596. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004758
Nordrum JT, Kennedy DM. Seven Principles for Improving Service and Patient Satisfaction. Fam Pract Manag. 2019 Mar; 23(3):15-9. PMID: 27176097.
Writer: Trisha Wiseman, BSN, RN is a registered nurse and a 27-year veteran of the medical field who considers herself a lifelong learner. She has found a passion for educating the masses in public health and has done so her entire nursing career. She was Nurse of the Year for her division in 2012 for a health system of 8,000+ caregivers. She has a background as a Certified Pharmacy Tech in inpatient and outpatient pharmacy, as well as a nurse in emergency medicine, family practice, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, home care, long-term acute care (LTACH), case management, and utilization management. When she’s not writing, she’s not working her 8-5, she’s providing the best taxi service around to her two fantastic kids and drinking coffee around the clock! Connect with her on LinkedIn.