As healthcare architects, we work closely with providers to help support their mission of delivering excellent, patient-centered care. With HCAHPS scores impacting reimbursement, hospitals are focusing on making the patient experience a top priority. We understand that our clients expect to receive the same level of client-focused care they offer their patients.
How do you translate a client-centered approach to design? Business relationships are just like other relationships you have in your life. You have to be honest, trustworthy, willing to listen, giving, supportive and truly care about the other individual’s well-being. You have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to both the small details and keep your eye focused on the larger goals. No matter what the interaction may be, your business partners, clients and colleagues are people just like you and me; people who are always looking for an enhanced experience to remember.
The phrase “it’s the little things that count” is often used in the context of experiences because people remember the emotion they felt when something unexpected comes about. It is my personal goal to remember the tidbits said to me in passing in both my personal and work lives. If I’m then able to offer that person something that addresses or builds upon what they have shared with me, then that element of positive surprise resonates with them on an emotional level and enhances the quality of our relationship.
The quality of an experience has a lasting impact. Reflect on a certain time in your life – does it seem as though the details have become a dim memory but you still know that overall, you had a great experience? This happens to me all of the time when I crack open an old photo album and see all the restaurants and museums I’ve visited, yet can’t seem to remember much about them at all. But what I do remember is that it was a vacation of a lifetime!
The healthcare industry is deep in a discovery phase exploring ways to enhance the patient experience not only clinically, but also through architecture. How can we as designers affect change in their delivery of healthcare? What process improvements should be considered? How can we advance the clinical and physical experiences for the patient? And most importantly, how do we help the providers offer the best EMOTIONAL experiences for both the patients and their families? Improved patient experience is something we strive to influence positively through design.
The same attention to detail we employ in designing spaces that support an enhanced patient experience; we apply to working with our clients. Because, when the project is completed, and you are healing patients in your newly-designed space – we want you to look back on the process of design and remember it as a positive experience.