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What healthcare providers can do to improve care experiences

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Ambient Experience is a win-win-win. It’s a good experience for staff, it’s good for patients, and it’s good for hospitals.”  

Mary Beth Resimius

Business Leader Healthcare Experience Solutions North America

Improving care experiences is becoming more important than ever as people increasingly choose their medical provider or medical employer based on the quality of their services and care environment. The goal may be clear, but many healthcare organizations are uncertain about what steps they should take to create a positive experience for patients and staff. It requires an understanding of both clinical processes and how the environmental factors around them influence how people feel and behave.

User focused from the start

Philips has been in the design and technology business since 1891. It’s a buzzword now, but user-centered design is something that Philips has been focused on for 125 years.

Most technology companies that are developing new products focus on technology substitution — what new technology is required to better address a customer’s need or a clinical requirement. But products like Ambient Experience are developed from a clinical and user perspective. They are more meaningful products because they support both the physical and emotional comfort of patients.

 

Ambient Experience is based on decades of design research and collaboration, incorporating not only our internal clinical expertise, but that of our clients and customers. On top of that, we added what we call enabling technologies – the dynamic lighting, projection, and audio — to create immersive, relaxing environments for patients.


Why we focus on both the patient and staff experience

A huge amount of research has established a correlation between staff satisfaction and patient satisfaction. We know that if we make a positive impact on the staff, that this will trickle down and have positive results for the patients. Like any industry, attracting talent isn’t easy.

One way that our clients have been successful is offering staff an excellent state-of-the-art working environment.

A patient's journey into a friendly MRI environment with ambient experience at Lahey Health, US

Our approach

People notice the visual Ambient Experience components, but the foundation of our work is the design of the space. We start by engaging closely with our customers and with experience flow mapping. We work with all of the key stakeholders, meaning patients, hospital administration, clinical caregivers, physicians, even radiologists that may not even be a part of that actual clinical process but play a key role in reading the images.

 

We follow the staff, shadowing and monitoring their daily workflow, with the aim of identifying where their major pain points are. Then we turn our focus on the patient. We do role playing. We interview patients and follow them through the clinical care process. We’ve even done heart monitoring on patients to determine where and when their heart rates increase.

 

We then synthesize all of this information to determine where positive distraction and relaxation is needed for patients and where the pain points are for the staff and how we can help influence that, either from an environmental perspective or a process improvement perspective.

"I get giddy and excited myself when I go and talk to the customers post-installation. I’ve seen staff practically pulling patients down the hall because they are so excited to show the patients the care environment that they have for them."
 

People are overwhelmingly positive

Globally, we have now done 1,100-plus installations, and we have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from patients, staff, and hospital administrators. I get giddy and excited myself when I go and talk to the customers post-installation. I’ve seen staff practically pulling patients down the hall because they are so excited to show the patients the care environment that they have for them.

About the author

Mary Beth Resimius

Mary Beth Resimius

Business Leader

Mary Beth and her team are responsible for developing and delivering strategic healthcare experience consulting services and solutions. She actively guides the business at a strategic level and engages in customer projects to improving the patient and staff experience.

Related practice area

  • Healthcare Experience Solutions

    Healthcare Experience Solutions

    Leveraging strategic healthcare design thinking to create innovative and efficient environments for an exceptional patient and staff experience.

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