4 Actionable Ideas for Improving Patient Experience in Healthcare

9 November 2021

A positive patient experience is more than just a warm smile and spending more time with the patients. It involves providing high-level customer care. Just like other customers, patients want to be treated the way anyone would want to. 

Virginia Hospital Center is one institution that has taken the patient experience to another level by integrating IoT into its system. They have embraced Kontakt.io & Phunware to create a contactless environment for their patients while at the same time improving the overall patient experience. 

Watch interview with Virginia Hospital Center using IoT

Integrating IoT in Healthcare

IoT in healthcare simply means connected devices used in a hospital setting. These may include thermostats, security systems, automated lighting, medical devices and other sensors within the center. Technology-based healthcare offers unparalleled benefits which improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery. Some of these benefits include:

  • Simultaneous reporting and monitoring - Use of remote health monitoring devices can help save lives in emergencies such as heart attacks, asthma, and diabetes. These devices are connected to the smartphone and used to collect a patient's health data and share it to a cloud platform accessible by the physician. Authorized personnel can access this data anytime and from anywhere, ensuring quick action in case of an emergency. 
  • Data assortment and analysis - IoT devices allow healthcare facilities to collect, report, and analyze data in real-time, cutting the need to store raw data. As a result, healthcare providers only have access to final reports with graphs. More so, the data is less prone to errors, and healthcare providers can use it to make quick decisions. 
  • Patient tracking and reports - Healthcare providers can use medical IoT devices to gather vital signs of diseases and share the data with doctors in real-time monitoring. The same devices will drop notifications to patients through their smartphones. Doctors can use this data to provide on-time treatment, hence improving patient care delivery results
  • Remote medical assistance - Healthcare IoT provides mobility solutions whereby a patient can contact a physician through a mobile app. The physician can rely on the available data to identify the patient's ailments and treat them on the go without either of them having to travel. 
  • Research - IoT healthcare applications make it easy for medical practitioners to collect vast amounts of valuable data about a patient's illness in a short period. Researchers can then use the statistical data to carry out medical research. 

Virginia Hospital Center is reaping the benefits of IoT in healthcare by using Kontakt.io & Phunware to create a contactless environment for their patients. 

According to Michael Mistretta, the VHC’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, the application has made it possible to provide telemedicine, video visits, and video vendors to their patients. These features are essential, especially during the Covid-19 times when people are required to maintain social distance.

In addition, the application has other useful features that help the center improve its overall patient experience, as we will see below. 

4 Ideas to Improve Patient Experience in Healthcare Industry

  1. Indoor Wayfinding

Hospitals can use wayfinding systems to help patients find their way through the campus and enhance their understanding and experience through various departments. Hospital campuses usually have complicated architectural designs that are hard for patients to navigate through. The hospitals give their patients a sense of well-being, safety, and security by using the system. 

Wayfinding solutions include cues and direction symbols that make it easy for patients to find their destinations. In addition, it features differing visual characters that map out small segments and large spaces. By splitting the critical areas in the campus, it becomes easy for patients to find their way through the building. 

  1. Location-Based Marketing

Through real-time monitoring, hospitals can identify the order in which the patients arrived in the building. Michael notes that Virginia Hospital uses this information to determine service delivery and do location-based marketing. They have incorporated the feature in their hospital-branded app. 

As a result, they can enhance their communication with patients as they wait in line.  In addition, healthcare can use the information gathered from location-based marketing to:

  • Understand where the patients who opt-in the facility are going and where they frequent and determine the best marketing message to deliver. For instance, if the patient has been waiting long in the waiting room, the facility offers coffee coupons to the patients and their loved ones. By doing so, you assure the patient that you have not forgotten them and you will attend to them soon. 
  • Determine what services the patient may be looking for in the facility. As a result, they can create ads based on the services they offer, making it easy for the patients to find what they are looking for. 
  1. Geofencing 

Through location-based marketing, healthcare marketers can use geo-targeting marketing methods to improve the patient experience further. One such helpful method is geofencing that involves defining a perimeter around a specific location within the healthcare facility. 

The virtual fence triggers a push notification to the patient's phone once they enter a predefined geofenced area through this feature. The tech is not limited to wayfinding alone. 

Health facilities can learn when patients walk into the hospital and enable automatic check-in. Using such feature hospitals can limit the number of people in the waiting room, hence offering speedy services. 

Other ways healthcare centers can use to improve overall patient experience include:

  • Provide personalized and improved patient satisfaction
  • Remind patient to follow-up
  • Provide alternative wellness solutions such as gyms
  1. Patient Workflow Tracking Based on Nano Tag Products and Kontakt.io

In busy hospital settings, the work is demanding, making the staff overwhelmed. In such cases, they can find themselves making frequent errors, leading to miscommunication and frustration. The result of such chaos is dissatisfied patients, which in turn cause more problems for your healthcare business. 

The best way to eliminate such problems is through the use of patient workflow tracking. Such a solution can be achieved through Kontakt.io Nano Tags. These products have made it easy to automate various types of patient workflow, hence simplifying the day-to-day paperwork.

Kontakt.io provides simple, affordable, and impactful nano products that leverage Wi-Fi, BLE, and infrared. Through the use of these products, the facility can achieve real-time tracking and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Cloud management 
  • Reduced the risk of losing medical devices
  • Provides quick turn-around time hence increasing ROI

The Kontakt.io patient workflow and elopement solutions can help health facilities create forms, design workflow, assign users, and launch applications in the shortest time possible. In addition, patients receive notifications and reminders automatically on their smartphones, allowing for speedy approvals. 

Healthcare providers can monitor an individual's conditions without meeting with the patients physically or frequently by using IoT devices. As a result, the facility can provide a quicker and more convenient patient service delivery without being too invasive. 

Final Thoughts

As a healthcare provider, you should set your bar high when providing a better patient experience. Integrating kontakt.io devices into your system ensures you achieve this while at the same time overcoming the challenges associated with the use of IoT in healthcare. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more about our solutions. 

Aneta Ciurkot

Director, Product Marketing

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    [Updated for 2020]
    [Updated for 2020]