Another area that can be improved in order to increase consumer satisfaction is in the area of Improved Patient Compliance. As Stone and colleagues (1998) discussed: “Doctors and patients look at compliance through very different lenses… doctors value compliance… (as) a necessary factor in treatment, patients value convenience, money, cultural beliefs, habits, body image… What physicians call ‘noncompliance’ may be a patient’s expression of disagreement about treatment goals….. (or) views noncompliance as “a health care professional’s term for disobedience… likening the doctor-patient relationship to that of the parent and child…
(the) expectation that the patient will “surrender” to the medical model is a central problem with the way we think about compliance… ” (p. 1) Non-compliance here is effectively a result of miscommunication between the physician and the patient, and non-compliance usually results in poor healthcare outcomes that can lead to unsatisfied customers. In order to improve compliance (and hence improve outcomes and increase satisfaction), it is advised that physicians change the way they communicate with patients by establishing three key conditions: “shared values, shared language and mutual respect” (Stone, 1998, p. 1).
This can be done by using the patients own words and language and by avoiding biomedical talk, emphasizing feelings as well as psychosocial topics. This technique has been proven to increase both client satisfaction as well as outcomes – proving that effective communication between client and physician as well as the removal of the physician-patient barrier can increase healthcare delivery as well as consumer satisfaction. Lastly, another area that can be improved upon in order to increase customer satisfaction is in the area of Reducing Hospitalization and Length of Stay.
It is common knowledge that no individual likes staying in a hospital longer than necessary. Prolonged hospitalization can bring up notions that the customer is not getting any better and this leads to sentiments of dissatisfaction with the healthcare team. To avoid this, healthcare providers and hospitals should formulate a system where treatment is more effective and can lead to shorter stays. An example of this system is the recent trend of utilizing Hospitalists – doctors who are hospital-based and share the patient load of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs). They are often relegated to look after a hospitalized patient of the partner PCP.
The main advantage of hospitalists is that they are more familiar with the hospital system and are able to spend more time with the patient, thus being able to tract progress and response to treatment regimens planned or ordered by the PCP. In the gathered data presented by Barclay (2007) in her news article about a journal study on hospitalist use, it was reported that, “the mean length of stay ranged from 4. 7 days for patients cared for by hospitalists as compared to 5. 2 days for those cared for by internists,” and when compared to those cared for by family physicians, hospitalist-cared for patients had a 0. 4-day shorter stay (n. p. ).
This shows that hospitalists can reduce hospital stay while still providing effective care. This translates to earlier hospital discharge and eventually, positive consumer satisfaction.
References Barclay, L. (2007, December 20). Hospitalist care may modestly reduce length of hospital stay. Medscape Medical News. Retrieved on November 27, 2008 from http://www. medscape. com/viewarticle/567778. Koenig, K. L. (2007) Improving continuity of patient care. Journal Watch Emergency Medicine, 11 (5), 40. Stone, M. S. , Bronkesh, S. J. , Gerbarg Z. B. , & Wood, S. D. (1998). Improving patient compliance. Strategic Medicine.