The pandemic has no doubt weighed heavily on hospitals everywhere, as healthcare workers deal with rising COVID-19 cases while making sure non-COVID-19 patients are also cared for. With a very volatile situation involving an infectious and deadly virus, hospitals must move quickly to maintain their capacities and keep up with the challenges of the pandemic.
Amid all of these, Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed), a top hospital in the Philippines, remains committed to its mission to provide the highest quality healthcare experience for all stakeholders through the MakatiMed Patient Experience Program. With the goal of delivering quality service for all patients at every point despite the challenges, MakatiMed believes that the patients should come first and have a say on how they are being cared for. That’s why the program was created to help assess a patient’s overall hospital care experience through online surveys and focus group discussions to help MakatiMed identify specific areas for improvement.
“We constantly and more proactively sought the feedback of our patients and their families. We make sure our hospital leaders know of our patients’ concerns, so we can adjust and provide services that address the actual and current needs of our patients,” says Artemio Cabrera Salvador, MD, Head of Quality Management.
Apart from online surveys and focus group discussions, MakatiMed’s Patient Experience Unit (PXU) developed a way to check on the patients through telephone calls or telerounds to learn more about the patients, their experience with the hospital, and their thoughts on how the service can be even made better. Dr. Salvador says that telerounds also help patients feel less lonely while going through isolation because of COVID-19.
The PXU team also has gone beyond the telerounds, helping patients with their immediate needs such as follow up COVID-19 test results and coordinate with quarantine facilities and their families. “The team is there so our patients have someone to have a conversation with, to reassure them that things are going to be okay,” says Lady Cloma, Unit Manager of the PXU. “The feedback so far has been great. Patients have said that the PXU’s efforts made them feel remembered and valued in difficult times.”
And knowing that the patients and their families feel valued amid all the adjustments and setbacks is the most meaningful accomplishment, the doctor adds. “It validates our commitment to provide them with compassionate care and the best experience possible despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” says Dr. Salvador. “Knowing that we are able to provide quality healthcare and a positive experience for our patience and their families despite the situation is enough for us to keep going and continue our mission.”