Rethinking health services operations to embrace patient experience of healthcare journey.Int J Health Plann Manage. 2021 Nov; 36(6):2020-2029.IJ
Patient experience is assumed pivotal for improving health services operations. The patient experience of healthcare services in Iran has been mostly assessed through the satisfaction and quality of single services or activities at individual providers, clinical departments, or health facilities. However, given the rise of chronic and multi-morbid conditions, health services for these conditions consist of several activities and interactions through a journey that patients take in the health system. To fill in this gap, we propose focusing on the assessment of patient experience on the patient journey through the health system. We advocate that there is much potential for improving the patient experience by rethinking the operations management of health services to embrace the patient experience of the healthcare journey. Rethinking health operations management may include an exhaustive list of interventions. Concisely, at the strategic level, policy-makers while understanding the need for shifting towards the patient experience, make sure that operational level management is experience oriented. This would be pursued through a strategic approach to patient experience, reconsidering qualifications for operational management, and benchmarking to identify and share best practices. Lessons learnt from previous quality improvement programmes are also considered as a capacity to establish the experience orientation.