Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Marriot moments' in the hospital

For years, I would get into stimulating conversations with other members of the teams about clinical outcomes and its importance to the growth of patient numbers. Slowly I realised that we were not focusing on patient outcomes in the right way. This is not to say that clinical outcomes are not important. But that above and beyond the percentage of clinical successes there is the perspective from the patient that we never thought about. What does he or she or their loved ones want from the whole experience with our service? The patient experience is something we never talked about. Then I realised that despite having the same technologies and similar expertise, patients did actually like some places better than others. They kept coming back to some of my client organizations more than others. The technology backbone was similar and was provided by the same expert - myself. So what can we do to improvise the experience? We need to do more on that front and it is good that I am finding more of our colleagues interested.
In fact the world of design itself is re-orienting towards design experiences more than anything else because as Tim brown explains in his book " change by design", a good technical idea is no longer enough. The new economy has consumers who are looking for a good experience more than the technological features of the product or service. He gives the interesting example of Marriot contracting designers who find out that the most important moment for the customer who checks-in and where his or her experience can be focused on to elevate his satisfaction is the 'exhale moment' when they reach the room, throw the jacket and shoes to stretch out on the comforting bed. In healthcare those who work closely with the patients will easily be able identify numerous points in the patients' journey where this 'exhale moment' occurs. But what are we doing about it? And do the healthcare planners and managers who have never worked with patients be able to understand the significance of these moments?

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