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‘Patient Experience’ key element to meet growing patient healthcare expectations

As healthcare continues to become increasingly competitive, it is also experiencing greater consumerism. Globally, patients have increased their attention to how they're treated.  In the United Arab Emirates, this is particularly heightened as a growing population - 8.26 million in mid-2010, a growth of 64.5% in four years[1] - has given rise to a rapidly expanding and demanding market for healthcare. By incorporating patient experience as a key strategic element, healthcare organisations in the region will be better positioned to meet these quickly growing patient expectations.

Putting patients first or the ‘Patient Experience’ - is the theme at the upcoming Leaders in Healthcare Congress taking place at Arab Health 2012 on 26th January in Dubai. Launched 4 years ago, Leaders in Healthcare has addresses specific topics under a certain theme each year with the aim of remaining one step ahead of the ever-evolving healthcare sector in the MENA region.

This year’s Chairman of Leaders in Healthcare Conference, Dr James Merlino, the Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Experience Officer, will be introducing the idea to the UAE that the patients take responsibility for their own future health under the theme ‘Patient Experience’.

According to Dr Merlino, “The Patient Experience is a key component of Cleveland Clinic’s strategic plan to achieve a coordinated delivery model that integrates patient-centered care with clinical outcomes, quality, safety, and employee experience. “Patients First” is the guiding principle of Cleveland Clinic and the organisation recognises that a formula of empathic customer service plus high quality, innovative medical care will lead to a better patient experience.”

Patient Experience is driven by two factors - processes of care linked by seamless transitions and cultural alignment around patient experience. Processes of care may include best practices such as reducing noise, improving communication among physicians, ensuring patient access and follow-up efforts - all of which enhances the overall healthcare operation.

“By creating an Office of Patient Experience in hospitals and healthcare facilities in the UAE, in addition to training employees on the importance of a service-oriented culture, a Patient Experience Office often serves as a doorway or facilitator for direct input from patients,” says Dr Merlino. “Patient Experience Offices can encompass a variety of programs and initiatives, but the goal is always the same – to put patients first and make their entire experience the best it can be.”

The 2012 Leaders in Healthcare conference will share the importance of the Patient Experience via addressing its impact at a national level. It will then address the commercial viability of the Patient Experience by monetising the emotional value it creates and measuring its success.

“Empowering the patient translates to the successful implementation of an efficient and productive healthcare system,” says Simon Page, Managing Director – Life Sciences, Informa Exhibitions – the organisers of Arab Health. “In other words, if the patient feels like they belong and if the hospital facility partners with him and his needs, the patient is more likely to comply thus creating and efficient and productive healthcare system. Hospitals in the UAE, as in the rest of the MENA region, have now realised the importance of their core cliental, the Patient. Consequently, healthcare now revolves around the patient and not vice versa.”

For more information about the Leaders in Healthcare Conference at Arab Health organised by Informa Exhibitions, please visit http://www.arabhealthonline.com/conferences/.