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A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness

Cathal Doyle, Derek Bell, Laura Lennox

BMJ Journals

Objective: To explore evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness outcomes. Design: Systematic review. Setting: A wide range of settings within primary and secondary care including hospitals and primary care centres. Participants: A wide range of demographic groups and age groups. Primary and secondary outcome measures: A broad range of patient safety and clinical effectiveness outcomes including mortality, physical symptoms, length of stay and adherence to treatment. Results: This study, summarising evidence from 55 studies, indicates consistent positive associations between patient experience, patient safety and clinical effectiveness for a wide range of disease areas, settings, outcome measures and study designs. It demonstrates positive associations between patient experience and self-rated and objectively measured health outcomes; adherence to recommended clinical practice and medication; preventive care (such as health-promoting behaviour, use of screening services and immunisation); and resource use (such as hospitalisation, length of stay and primary-care visits). There is some evidence of positive associations between patient experience and measures of the technical quality of care and adverse events. Overall, it was more common to find positive associations between patient experience and patient safety and clinical effectiveness than no associations. Conclusions The data presented display that patient experience is positively associated with clinical effectiveness and patient safety, and support the case for the inclusion of patient experience as one of the central pillars of quality in healthcare. It supports the argument that the three dimensions of quality should be looked at as a group and not in isolation. Clinicians should resist sidelining patient experience as too subjective or mood-oriented, divorced from the ‘real’ clinical work of measuring safety and effectiveness.

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A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness

February 5, 2020 – It’s no secret that hospitals are facing mounting pressures. While demands on the system are going up due to trends like an aging population and changing technology, hospital budgets are going down. Hospitals are struggling to keep up and the situation is only projected to get worse.

In the face of these challenges, healthcare leaders are looking for better ways to optimize hospital operations and ensure optimal patient outcomes. The challenge, however, has been finding a solution that is sustainable, cost effective and future proof.

At HealthHub, we think the solution lies in the patients themselves – through patient engagement.

Patient engagement involves providing patients with access to the right information at the right time. It means connecting patients to their healthcare providers and systems. And, it means supporting patients along the way with the right tools, controls and entertainment to make their journey as seamless and as frictionless as possible.

Although decades ago, it was thought that patients should be kept in the dark about their own health, we now know that when patients are engaged, everyone wins.

In fact, when patients are enabled with the right information, they become better informed, more empowered, and more engaged in their own care – all of which lead to better health outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.

Engaged patients mean that doctors can do more doctoring, nurses can do more nursing and administrators can focus on delivering added value to the system.

So, just how can we facilitate patient engagement? By bringing the hospital to the patient’s bedside.

Of the 5.8 days the average Canadian patient stays in hospital, most of this time is spent alone, often watching a bedside TV. At HealthHub, we recognized this as an opportunity for innovation. In fact, we’ve developed a new bedside terminal platform, called myHealthHub, that replaces outdated TVs to deliver a powerful patient engagement solution.

Our platform not only enables patients to be entertained through features like on-demand TV and Wi-Fi, but it also allows patients to stay engaged with family, friends, community, hospital and – most importantly – their own care, through a suite of patient engagement applications.

By taking a patient-centered approach, we’re helping to bring the hospital to the bedside and transform the patient experience.

HealthHub is investing significantly to improve the experience of the Canadian patient and, in 2019, launched our all-new myHealthHub
patient engagement platform, along with making other company changes (see image below).

What’s more is that the benefits don’t stop at the patient. The benefits of our bedside patient engagement platform extend beyond the patient and to healthcare providers.

Let’s take one example. So many times, nurses report that they feel as if they’re the captain of their patient’s journey. In addition to providing caregiving and companionship, nurses are relied on to respond to a wide range of patient requests – dim the lights, order meals, adjust environmental controls and so on. If patients had the right technology at their bedside, providing them with better control over simple things like their environment or food orders, imagine what it would mean for both nurses and patients? Patients would have more agency and nurses could focus on providing care and companionship – the things that have been proven to help people heal faster.

Bedside patient engagement technology also aligns with the current global shift towards valuing patient outcome and experience over simply patient flow. Rather than focus on how quickly patients can be moved through a hospital, decision-makers are looking at the patient journey through a more holistic lens and working to improve it. This is in part because it’s the right thing to do and in part because patients are demanding it. As our world becomes more digitally-enabled, patients expect hospitals to be equipped with the latest technology and they expect connectivity – even from their hospital bed.

In summary, as pressures mount for hospitals to operate more efficiently, provide excellent patient experiences and deliver optimal health outcomes, we think the future lies in the hands of the patients. By unlocking new possibilities that come along with patient engagement, everyone wins. We’ve already seen proof that bedside patient engagement technology can transform patient experiences and outcomes – and we’ve only just begun.

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To learn more about myHealthHub, please visit www.healthhubsolutions.ca/myhealthhub

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