How can I create the best patient experience?

Creating an excellent patient experience is about seeing the patient as a person first and paying attention to how they want to be cared for and supported.

Some hospitals are exploring how to have different conversations with patients at admission and assessment, and looking at ways of involving relatives wherever possible. In doing this they can learn about clinical issues as well as finding out what matters to the person.

Bispham Hospital is one hospital that has started using one-page profiles at admission and assessment. Sometimes, when hospitals haven’t got this procedure in place, family members and social care staff take the initiative to do this. Cath did a one-page profile for her daughter, and Theresa did one for her mum when she was admitted to hospital. If the person is already supported by social care, they may have a one-page profile and bring this with them when they come to hospital.

Knowing the kind of personal information that is shared on a one-page profile can make a difference on many levels. Firstly, it helps build rapport between the patient and health colleagues – if you share a passion for rugby, or gardening, or have shared local roots, you instantly have something to talk about and a way to connect. If you don’t have something in common, you at least have areas that you know that the patient is interested in, to ask about. Secondly, it gives you important information that directly supports the person to get well as soon as possible – by giving information about what good support looks like. When health colleagues are able to pay attention to this information, it helps the patient feel listened to, valued and respected, and perhaps more confident as well. Here, Michelle tells a story about the difference that this made to Norman when he was in hospital.

If a great patient experience starts with a one-page profile – what else do we need in place for the patient’s journey? This short film explains how one hospital is exploring introducing other person-centred thinking tools like ‘good days’ and ‘what is working and not working’.

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