Pain Points in Healthcare Patients Experience

When was the last time you visited a hospital? Now, was it easy to get a parking spot? Did you walk far to get to the main entrance? Did you find the way to the entrance? Ok, I don’t want to be picky here. In most hospitals, those are the pain points – well it is understood hospitals are big building and it is a life saving space; hence the focus is on the people that need quick responses and medical attention. 

Say you are the patient. You survived the emergency responses and now you are in the ward. Life is pretty easy over there. Did you sometimes feel, it is “nice” to be at the hospital? You sort of forget and accepted the fact that not much you can do. Your mind started to feel free, light body and you tend to smile a lot more. That’s a different experience altogether as soon as you get home. 

I remember some years ago, I had a major tonsillitis infection. I couldn’t talk and it was very painful. I had to hospitalized. The doctor and nurses were very kind. They look after me day and night, making sure I had enough antibiotics to quickly kill those bacterias and remedy the infection. Slowly the pain subsided and I become “normal again” – after 7 days. 

The first 2-3 days were “nice” – I was like a little baby, I sleep and sleep. Doctor or nurses came to had me antibiotics and did some check up – off they went. The next few days after that, I started feeling bored so I wanted to walk around. Talk to some people or walk down to have some air. Here’s when I realised the hospital is not meant for warded people. It gets very annoying after a while. 

Some of my pain points were:

  1. When is the doctor coming to check me up? The doctor will only visit each patient under his care once a day – usually. The problem is you do not know where is he going to come. If I go down and then he come, he won’t come back again. 
  2. What’s my recovery status? The things they wrote on that board were barely readable. The nurses wouldn’t share much and the doctor will only said, “Everything ok”. I want to know details. Next reply I get is, “Don’t worry.”
  3. The doctors and nurses shift updates among them is unclear. The new shift tend to ask me (and other patients) the same information. Wouldn’t the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) got that? Why wouldn’t they update the information there? Is it difficult to use?
  4. I walk over to some wards where I observed some patients that were difficult to move around, I pity those nurses having to gather 4-5 of them to lift or carry this patient to sanitary. Shouldn’t the hospital find ways to improve this experience?
  5. Another was the urine bag – big 2 litres bag were a stinky hassle for the nurses during draining out the urine. They had to use plastic jugs and walk them to the toilet and flush it. Don;t the hospital have some kind of collector machine or other means to make the experience better?
  6. I received some X-ray images and they ask me to take home. What do I do with it? I was told those images could be harmful – why do you let me take it back? Wouldn’t it be better to save it in the hospital in digital copy and dispose (recyle) it somewhere?
  7. Another that pissed me off when I got sick – is different doctor on routine will tell you different diagnosis, interpretation and recommendation. So which one should I follow? Some nurses had their own “judgement” and over ride the doctors prescription. How to tell the nurses overstepped the border? What if those patients were senior citizen and without any medical background or someone close to spot that gap?

Did you know that most doctors will not recommend their own close family members the hospitals that they provide services? That’s very telling. The healthcare system and experiences could be so much better and improved upon. 

Better experiences, better healing and the care could be given focusing on the critical patients instead of feeling overwhelmed by huge amount of patients. More time for themselves too! I will share more how to make some impactful and significant improvement in some areas of the services in other posts.

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