Competition among healthcare providers is heating up around the world, and Australia is no exception. St. John of God Health Care is a not-for-profit organisation based in Western Australia with a mission to provide high-quality, patient-centered care. Founded more than 100 years ago, the provider wanted to take the lead in delivering a holistic, up-to date patient experience in three of its west coast hospitals.
Through customer research, St. John of God found that filling out paperwork on the day of admission created considerable stress for patients. A significant majority of patients said they preferred to use their personal computers, tablets and mobile phones at home than to register on arrival at the hospital. The logical next step was to create an easy-to-use patient portal that could be used in advance of planned admissions and would also make the process paperless.
PwC joined forces with St. John of God Health Care to reimagine an admissions process as simple, stress- free and paperless. The team used PwC’s Business Experience Technology (BXT), which brings together PwC experts in IT, experience design and healthcare from around the world to deliver the best solution, fast. This allowed the client and PwC to accelerate the design and development process by using specialist teams in other geographies. For example, professionals in Shanghai and Bangalore could work on the technology platform and graphics, while the Australian team stayed focused on the overall strategy. The foundation of the paperless admissions process is a patient portal with an intuitive graphical interface. Each question a patient answers leads directly to the next, which minimises user confusion and errors. The portal includes a pre-payment option, as the St. John of God staff found that paying on the day of arrival particularly added to the stress for patients. On the back-end, the new portal reduces manual processing while improving data quality because admissions clerks no longer need to reenter information into the hospital’s patient administration system.
PwC and St. John of God were able to create the patient-centric admissions solution in just four months, and it was then rolled out to patients over a longer period. The adoption rate at St. John of God’s hospitals was 86%, which is significantly higher than average for these types of projects and indicates that the design and functionality are what patients wanted. Most important, the portal and its applications have increased patients’ satisfaction and their level of trust in St. John of God hospitals. Caregivers report that patients are more at ease on admission, which increases both patient and caregiver satisfaction.
“This is a really good example of where we were able to use the BXT approach to build on the relationships the business and performance team had built over time with St. John of God to develop a platform that really enhanced the patient experience using our experts from around the world.”
“Research has shown that best-in-class systems gain an uptake of 80%. We were absolutely delighted as we exceeded that target [achieving an 86% adoption rate].”