Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the new reality at the Jacob Clinic in Haarlem is no different from most healthcare organizations in the Netherlands: patients predominantly no longer leave their rooms. This immediately raises the question: How can you answer their questions in a customer-friendly manner while also ensuring that employees have their hands as free as possible for extra care tasks?
The Jacob Clinic is part of the Sint Jacob Foundation, which has eight locations in the South Kennemerland region where elderly individuals reside or rehabilitate. In order to align our care as closely as possible with the wishes of the elderly and the ever-changing circumstances, we consciously engage in proactive innovation. Last year, the Jacob Clinic began streamlining communication digitally, and it is proving to be highly beneficial during the current COVID-19 period. This initiative could now be a convenient solution for many healthcare organizations.
"Last year, I had a conversation with René Stamer from GuestCompass. His company has been active in the hospitality industry for years, offering a digital platform that enhances and personalizes the guest experience in hotels. This clearly aligns with our rehabilitation concept, where we aim to work in a more guest-oriented manner and less patient-focused. However, the daily reality is that in our 78 rooms, we have information binders that are both costly and contain outdated content by the time they are delivered. We do study our clients' journey, but there's always room for improvement in the communication surrounding it.
In just a few minutes, René showed me their solution, and my immediate thought was, 'Why don't we use this in healthcare?' It became the first 'IT project' within Sint Jacob that wasn't managed by the IT department. It's not a software package or app, but an online communication platform that can be quickly implemented and provides intuitive information and answers to clients' questions. When clients are still in the hospital and want to learn more about the Jacob Clinic, they can use GuestCompass to prepare for their rehabilitation at the Jacob Clinic. This ensures that clients have access to the most up-to-date information, which is reassuring."
Once in the Jacob Clinic, clients can use the platform from their own smartphone or tablet. During the intake, our staff can, if desired, place a shortcut on their device – simple and practical. This way, every client can find the answer to their question at any time. If the question is not already listed and is asked by others, the information is added. The client is immediately assisted and well-informed without having to go to the reception or request valuable time from the nursing staff. This saves a lot of time for our staff.
GuestCompass doesn't replace our website, intranet, or offline channels, but it adds a highly flexible extra dimension to the guest experience. For us, it's the missing link in communication with clients and caregivers. It's effective in its simplicity and therefore suitable for seniors as well. Due to the current restrictions, our clients are also confined to their rooms. We've observed that more and more seniors are seeking access to the world around them through modern devices and are increasingly using new media.
Almost every healthcare organization grapples with a fragmented information landscape. The era of information binders in rooms is truly behind us. We can and want to do so much more to provide our clients with the best possible care. Digitization is the future, and with the COVID-19 crisis, it has become the everyday reality. Almost every client aged 75 or younger owns a smartphone. They use it to Skype with their children and grandchildren to stay connected with the outside world. Healthcare should not lag behind in this regard but should adapt and cleverly combine the benefits for both clients and the organization.
Manager GRZ Jacob Kliniek at Stichting Sint Jacob