Senior Living Centers: The Importance of Patient Experience

Just as Customer Experience has become a growing influence throughout other industries, healthcare brands are beginning to better understand the value of creating a great Patient Experience. Whether it is a hospital, a physical therapy clinic, or nursing home, these healthcare organizations are prioritizing relationship-building with their clientele, rather than focusing solely on profit driven initiatives. Senior living centers specifically, are a growing slice of the healthcare pie that can benefit greatly from providing a leading Patient Experience. Implementing programs like mystery shopping within these organizations can help organizations better understand employee performance, patient satisfaction, facility maintenance, quality care, as well as other contributing factors.

Mystery shopping can be such a vital tool for senior living centers because it provides an unbiased perspective of the way individual branches are being run on a daily basis. These programs can evaluate multiple different aspects of a senior living center, but ultimately the data provided will help organizational leadership granulize which parts of the patient/staff relationship need improvement. Whether that is patient care, facility upkeep, or compliance with industry and legal standards, these brands need to be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to Patient Experience. Mystery shopping is an effective way to accomplish this because it provides simple, actionable reports with a relatively quick turnaround from data collection to action.

According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the population of American citizens over the age of 80 will jump from 6 million to 12 million over the next twenty years[1], meaning that we will have more of a need than ever for quality living spaces specifically designed for this population. To stay ahead of the curve, brands need to initiate programs like mystery shopping to start accumulating data now that will help them cater to this growing group of Americans in the future. Beyond just providing an atmosphere for elderly individuals to thrive, this is undoubtedly an opportunity for brands to reap significant financial gains and become industry leaders. By collecting this Patient Experience data via mystery shopping programs, organizations will be able to better understand what goes into running a successful senior living center, thus creating a mutually beneficial relationship for both the patients and the brands themselves.

In addition to the seismically-growing population of Americans over eighty, the JHCS reports that by 2035, one-third of American households will be headed by someone over 65.[2] Rather than waiting for these populations to age, the most successful senior living communities will be those that begin focusing their efforts around Patient Experience and relationship building now. In doing so, they will not only be helping the elderly clients they serve and their families, but also stimulating the economy and collecting their fair share of profit on the way. Rather than being taken by surprise, utilize mystery shopping as a tool now, and become a leader within the industry in the future.

[1] & 2   https://www.curbed.com/2016/12/14/13961624/senior-housing-retirement-home-ownership-harvard


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