Reimagining the patient experience during COVID-19

What are the challenges in providing superior patient experience during the pandemic? What does patient experience look like in virtual setup?


Dr Dini Handayani, Chief Executive Officer, Medistra Hospital

Dr Karen Luxford, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) & ACHS International (moderator)

Joyce Nazario, AVP & Head of Patient Experience, St. Luke’s Medical Center

Dr Chatchai Arthur Yachantha, Acting Senior Director, Patient Experience, Bumrungrad International Hospital


With a healthcare ecosystem now being shaped by virtual or remote consultations, the primary challenge in providing excellent patient experience is on getting the message across. It is important that patients receive understandable information that will ease their anxiety about their safety in hospitals. Keeping communication lines open between patients and healthcare providers, a lesson we learned from previous SARS and MERS pandemics, definitely will help keep us ensure a good patient experience despite physical restrictions.

Online interaction with patients doesn’t have to be too different from seeing patients in person. Hospitals just need to identify the correct tools and the correct format to use to reach patients and provide them with satisfactory care. Thus far, technological innovations made by hospitals to continue providing care to patients have been positively received, even with the conservative patient population. Technology, too, played a key role in ensuring that patients and staff are both protected whenever they are in the hospital. For instance, discharge and online payment systems have been streamlined. Essentially, hospital providers remain committed to providing outstanding patient experience even with the difficulties posed by the pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  1. We have to make sure to communicate to patients that hospitals are still safe places where they can come to access care.
  2. It is not about hospitals; it is about patients. Patients can stay at the comfort of their homes while hospitals continue to provide them with the care they need.
  3. There’s a close link between staff experience and patient experience. If the employee experience is not good, it will translate to the quality of patient experience; hence, it is crucial that hospital staff feel trusted, safe, and confident.
  4. COVID-19 can be considered a positive force as we’re forced to think about all aspects of the patient’s hospital visit.
  5. Technology can help hospitals continue to provide patients with their much-needed connection with families and friends.