Leaders across the healthcare industry are acknowledging that patients are defining clinical quality based upon their care experience. Patients are now making decisions about where they want to receive care based on the quality of care as well as their overall experience while at the hospital. And doctors are complying by making referrals to hospitals that provide a positive experience. Improving patient satisfaction scores is vital to the growth of any healthcare provider, and with Meaningful Use Stage 2 initiatives that provide incentives to hospitals that allow mobility support and EMR access to patients, it is clear that providing an excellent patient experience will be the new benchmark for healthcare system success. How does IT become a partner in accomplishing the new mission for hospitals to become beacons of total patient well being? By providing a pervasive, continuously available Wi-Fi infrastructure that not only supports clinician mobility and patient BYOD access, but also is reliable and secure enough to allow biomedical and total and secure EHR accessibility.
So the question becomes: how can healthcare providers ensure a positive patient experience? One sure way is to give patients what they want and what they want is mobility. Mobility, enabled by pervasive Wi-Fi, allows patients to take an active role in their healthcare, tightens their relationship with their care givers and keeps them connected to the outside world.
Having reliable bed-side access to the Internet allows patients to research quality health information such as treatment options and prescriptions and drug interactions, which empowers patients to take control of their healthcare. In addition, many healthcare providers have programs, such as patient portals, which allow patients to monitor the status of tests and procedures, keep track of their medicine and review their discharge instructions. In this way mobility fosters two-sided, interactive care which improves the quality of the healthcare that patients receive, leads to more positive outcomes and a more positive experience.