Redesigning the Provider Experience

Patient-centered care has become the mantra for many, if not all, healthcare providers. And why not? Hospitals are realizing that even the slightest calibrations to the patient experience can have far-reaching effects on the quality of care.

But let’s not forget the needs of care teams—and more specifically, physicians. What do they want? How can we make their experiences better?

Compare the wish lists of patients and physicians, and you’ll find the two are strikingly similar. For example, doctors want to improve the patient experience prior to their exam, since even the most routine appointment can cause anxiety or a spike in blood pressure. Many hospitals have seized the opportunity to create online services that allow patients to conveniently schedule, check in, update personal information, and order labs in advance. New systems like these also encourage trust and transparency, reduce manpower, and promote precision in medicine. Offering enhanced services such as valet parking or food and beverages in the waiting room are other ways that hospitals are alleviating worry and hassle.

Once inside the exam room, patients crave more quality time with doctors. Physicians want this, too. Even though patient visits have remained steady for two decades at an average of 20 minutes, providers today are being asked to do more within this same block of time.

At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, we redesigned schedules and reallocated duties in order to increase facetime for complex cases from 20 to 30 minutes. The result: better, more personalized care, stronger bonds between patients and care teams, and a schedule that meets patient demand.

Also ranking high on doctors’ wish list is melting the avalanche of paperwork that’s become synonymous with burnout. It’s estimated that doctors devote more than two-thirds of their time to managing records, even with the advent of electronic systems. The solution? Many hospitals now enlist scribes to enter and maintain patient information—a move that places fewer demands on physicians and in turn, improves their cognitive abilities.

Doctors devote more than two-thirds of their day to managing records—that’s 10-15 minutes for every patient.

The patient and physician experiences will forever be inextricably linked. Every time we empower the voice of the patient, we must listen to the needs of physicians and care teams. Doing so helps us design more compelling and rewarding experiences.