Speaker Interview
Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director | Apollo Hospitals Group

Q-1) There has been a heightened focus on patient experience for some time among health care leaders and providers. Are you seeing an impact? If not, why not? If yes, how has it changed the face of health care delivery and management?

Yes indeed, there is definitely an enhanced focus on patient experience due to a paradigm shift towards patient centric care. There is a greater awareness and understanding that the patient needs to be the focus of all services. Also, when technology usage and clinical expertise reach a level of parity at a certain point amongst different providers, patient experience becomes a differentiator amongst different healthcare providers.

Q-2) What steps have Apollo Hospitals leadership has taken to better integrate and enhance the delivery of exceptional patient experience?

The Apollo Hospitals leadership has standardised service criteria and norms across all the units of Apollo Hospitals at various patient-touch points. There is a strong focus on staff training.
A dashboard ‘Service Excellence at 29’ consisting of 29 parameters, is closely monitored by the senior leadership for each Apollo Hospitals unit. Measuring and monitoring service excellence performance stimulates the spirit of healthy competition amongst different units. Mystery audits are regularly conducted to check performance. Service excellence for Apollo Hospitals is seamless and starts at the first point of connect with the patient, be it an online search or a telephonic enquiry. This continues across the entire service spectrum and even after the patient is discharged, through the post- discharge calls, reminders for health checks and appointments.
A Chief Experience Officer has been recently created to steer and enhance the patient experience further across the units. This underscores our commitment to enhancing the patient experience.

Q-3) What advice would you give other organizations across the globe working to improve the patient experience?

Healthcare organizations, in order ensure patient delight would need to focus on the core values of patient centricity and empathy, no matter what technology or advanced processes they adopt.

Q-4) What is your patient experience plan for 2019 – 2020 and what will you do differently?

In 2019-20, we shall continue to work to improve the Net Promoter Scores(NPS) and the Tender Loving Care(TLC) for our patients. We are focussing on our improving existing initiatives and some of these are- the ‘fond farewell’, ‘ward as a unit’, ‘Chairman walk’ ‘dial 77’, ‘new-born gifts’, ‘automation of housekeeping services- portzo’ would be further emphasized. We are also focussing more on analytics in order to meet patient requirements and preferences.

Q-5) How healthcare providers can vastly improve their digital game to deliver frictionless, fully integrated experiences?

Healthcare providers should work on automation so that the services are delivered seamlessly with enhanced responsiveness. Data analytics can play a key role. They should aim to look at improving different aspects of the patient journey from the first contact. The hospitality industry has many examples that healthcare could learn from.

Q-6) In your opinion why is a platform like International Patient Experience Symposium important to the healthcare fraternity – what are your expectations from the upcoming gathering?

This forum will provide an excellent platform to discuss ideas and best practices on enhancing the patient experience. Knowledge sharing across leading hospitals in the world would definitely lead to the achieving the next level of patient experience.