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Patient Experience Week PT1: How COVID-19 Has Redefined Engagement

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Jessica Shaw

Even before the pandemic, providers were driving innovation for new forms of virtual care. As Covid-19 has progressed, we have seen the rapid adoption of telehealth as well as recognized the significance of remote patient monitoring devices for those with chronic illnesses or who require continuity of treatment. With these digital technologies revolutionizing patient/provider engagement, more people are looking for ways to honor the hard-working professionals who provide exceptional patient experiences every day.  That is why, each April is dedicated to celebrating Patient Experience Week (PX Week) and commemorating community efforts to better advocate for public health. 

Patient Experience Week: What Is It? 

Created by The Beryl Institute, National Patient Experience Week is an annual recognition initiative to acknowledge the individuals who impact patient experiences or what Raintree likes to call them, patient journeys. Celebrated in the last week of April, PX Week features online legislative advocacy campaigns, social awareness events and more. 

Why Is Patient Experience Week Important?

Patient Experience Week allows the public to honor the accomplishments of healthcare workers who continuously impact patient experiences in a positive way. Additionally, PX Week empowers patients to recognize everyone involved throughout their entire journey, including physicians, nurses, executives, volunteers, support staff, families and even community charities or nonprofits. By celebrating PX Week, healthcare organizations can also enhance patient-staff relations, increase morale and improve communications.

How Has COVID-19 Changed Patient Expectations and Standards?

While patient expectations are always evolving, the Covid-19 outbreak has encouraged more and more people to better navigate their personal experiences. In terms of wanting simpler, more efficient and engaging alternatives to traditional healthcare, patients have begun to influence how providers interact via online portals, mobile apps, wearable devices and educational resource outlets that motivate patients to safely pursue continuity of care at home, at their own pace. However, since patients' wants and needs do vary, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to boosting satisfaction or improving clinical outcomes, so providers have had to adapt to the growing demands for digital technologies that are both intuitive and interactive. 

How Has Telehealth Made A Difference in Delivering Patient Care?

In response to the pandemic, providers moved quickly to implement innovative methods of virtual care and especially made sure to enable telemedicine or telehealth. Telehealth typically involves online communication via chat or video and its purpose is to deliver long-distance or remote healthcare services, all of which have been necessary to increase accessibility as well as offer more convenient care alternatives. 

While it’s not clear what the new "normal" will look like, we think its safe to assume that telehealth will continue to gain ground. In fact, a report by Globe Newswire indicates that the global telehealth market size is set to reach $559.52 billion by 2027, which is up from $61.40 billion in 2019 – a 25.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period. With that said, these numbers certainly indicate the growing need for telehealth now and in the ever-changing future.

How To Advocate For PX Week 

This year's Patient Experience Week is aimed to improve patient experiences worldwide and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate everyone who influences any component of a patients' journey. 

To spread the word about Patience Experience Week, you can engage in activities such as:

  • Writing press releases or sponsoring educational seminars
  • Sharing social media posts, using hashtags like #PXWeek
  • Collaborating with your local and state legislators
  • Promoting fun challenges such as PX crossword puzzles and trivia contests
  • Writing notes, sending packages or mailing gifts to your local healthcare workers
  • Hosting special recognition luncheons to honor physicians and clinicians

COVID-19 has not only drastically changed the fundamentals of everyday living but it has also expedited the need for more engagement between providers, patients, referral sources and payors. With convenience and safety in mind, providers must continue to prioritize effective communication tactics in order to cater to patient desires as well as optimize operational efficiencies. 

As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, we should pause to honor the many people who deliver positive patient experiences every day and take note of the current trends that will shape the future of healthcare. By celebrating PX week, we can acknowledge what we've gained from a tumultuous time and use those ideas to accelerate forward into a better tomorrow.


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