April 28, 2011

Hospitals seek patient feedback to better service

As soon as a patient dials the ‘quality and safety hotline’ number of Hinduja Hospital at Mahim, a gentle voice encourages the patient to record his suggestions or concerns related to the hospital’s service. The pre-recorded voice assures the patient that the message would reach the authority concerned and will be addressed on priority basis.

Hinduja Hospital is one of the few city hospitals, which have introduced a patient feedback system to understand their views and suggestions.

In the last four months, the hotline’s recording machine kept in the hospital director (administration), Joy Chakraborty’s cabin, has received more than 60 calls.

The feedback is helping the hospital to make patient-friendly changes in services.

“Every day we get at least two calls from our patients. The hotline has provided us a direct communication link with our patients,” said Chakraborty. “Patient feedback is important to bring in changes to the system, culture or any intervention.”

Feedback from patients has included requests to simplify insurance claim procedures via the third party administrators (TPAs). “Now, our staff personally call TPAs and co-ordinate to expedite the process,” said Chakraborty. Based on the patient requests, the hospital has also started admitting recently discharged patients on priority basis in case they require urgent medical attention.

Patients can dial this hotline number from within or outside the hospital. “The feedback has been encouraging. Patients feel delighted when we address their concerns,” said Chakraborty.

Jaslok Hospital, in the last one year, has made an effort to expedite the billing and admission process, thanks to feedback gathered from its electronic patient feedback system. The system comprises a device on which a patient punches in feedback on the hospital’s services in response to set questions.

“After we got feedback that the admission and discharge process was slow we have increased the staff strength and also begun training them,” said Dr SK Mohanty, medical director, Jaslok Hospital. The hospital has also invested in an online hospital information system, which has helped in speeding up the billing procedure.

“We have at least 15 feedback devices at various places in the hospital. The data on the devices is analysed every month to understand what patients expect from us,” said Dr Mohanty.

Link: Original Article

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