The Patient Always Comes First
Leading hospitals always put the patient’s well-being as their top priority goal. Quality medical services and patient safety, as well as the overall patient experience, are paramount. In order to reach these goals, however, a far-reaching culture change is often necessary: the transformation from physician-centred hospital to patient-centred hospital.
In practice, this means that all actions are geared toward the patient’s well-being. In brief: Happy patients, happy hospital. This kind of transformation has been shown also to significantly increase the staff’s satisfaction, which, in turn, further increases the patient’s satisfaction.
The reason? The staff members are already committed patient advocates on a daily basis, but today it can become difficult to always do the right thing for their patients. In a lean hospital, it becomes easier to do the right thing and almost impossible to do something wrong.
A patient-oriented hospital is more efficient because, if the focus is on the patient’s well-being, anything that does not benefit the patient – and there can be an abundance of those things – is automatically eliminated.
Patient Centric Design
Patients must be completely understood in order to be able to offer them the appropriate services. To fully understand patients means to fully comprehend their needs. A patient experiences the hospital differently from the staff who work there, and that is why it is essential to concentrate foremost on patient needs, without forgetting the needs of the staff. This is a particular challenge.
Therefore, knowing and analysing the experiences of patients is the first step. In order to shape processes, communications, treatment methods, infrastructures and buildings according to patient needs, it is essential to listen, observe and inquire. This is only possible through intensive interactions with patients.
Patient Centric Design uses the Design Thinking method, which was originally promoted in the design and engineering fields, and the goal is to advance in a people-oriented direction. This requires involving the patient from the beginning of the solution development process.
The hospital focuses on patient needs and learns how the patients wish to experience and use the hospital. It is necessary to walk in the patients’ shoes during this process, which is achieved by actively integrating them into the development process. New solutions emerge from what was learned. Yet, this does not happen overnight, and it frequently does not occur immediately, which is why we work on the basis of prototypes and simulations. We test these prototypes and continuously develop them until they effectively address patient needs.
The development of prototypes in collaboration with our clients not only serves the search for the appropriate solutions but also promotes the appropriate discussions. It is an iterative process in which the patients themselves participate time and again.