Maya's Interview: The Patient Experience & Mental Health
We speak to Maya, our Patient Experience Manager about how she is delivering our mission & looking after the mental health of our patients
Written by Chloe Gale
Published: Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Patients are at the heart of all the decisions we make at Medbelle. How would you describe the relationship between us and our patients?
Honestly, from the days of my interviews with Sarah (Head of Patient Pathways) and then Dani (Co-Founder and Head of Culture and Talent), I was so impressed by the vision of Medbelle and how they are committed to excellence in everything they do and specifically in patient care and how they focus on enhancing the patient experience.
Then when I started working with them, I knew for a fact that they don’t just “talk to the talk” but actually “walk the walk” too. At Medbelle, it's always about excellence in patient care, as the patient always comes first. Medbelle is definitely raising the standard of healthcare.
You’ve been working within healthcare for over a decade now, What does the future of healthcare look like for you?
Healthcare is definitely moving towards empowering patients to seek ways to prevent their diseases rather than seeking treatments. And this can only be achieved if we, as healthcare providers, start changing our mindsets and invest in digitalisation and the collection of data and building of algorithms.
This whole process actually started happening years ago, but the change was very slow specifically in the healthcare industry. Three years back, the pandemic expedited this and people are now more familiar with virtual consultations, and online prescriptions, even with the use of virtual reality in the treatment of diseases.
The healthcare industry will be organised and regulated in an entirely new way and this shift will require doctors, surgeons, nurses, caregivers, patients and everyone involved to redefine and reshape their current roles.
How does digitalisation shape your role?
I always believed that digitising healthcare is the key enabler for improving the patient experience. At Medbelle, the unique composition of our digital skills coupled with providing personal one-to-one care allows us to reinvent how value and patient care are delivered.
When talking about digitalising the healthcare industry we talk about:
- Empowering patients to engage with their own journeys
- Expediting the process of patients being able to reach their surgeons/medical team
- Providing the technology to enable patients to schedule their appointments
- Providing digital patient records
- Allowing fast exchange of information across all stakeholders
- Collecting outcomes including experiences
This allows patients to save time and money and at the same time allows us to provide them with individual and personalised care making sure they are heard and valued.
How does Medbelle differ from previous roles you’ve had?
There are two main differences that I can point out here:
One is the diversity in the culture that brings different minds to the table to make decisions. This diverse culture is taking Medbelle to a different level and will be the key player in helping the team achieve their vision.
The second one is that it will be my first role in a startup, and this is something I’ve always wanted to experience. I’m thrilled to be part of Medbelle’s growth and success and to be part of a team that believes in the vision and is working hand in hand to make it happen.
How does your role affect the patient experience?
The patient experience represents a critical element of their care journey. When patients have a positive experience they become more engaged in their own care, they begin to trust us and thus develop a stronger sense of loyalty to us.
This is what I focus on in my role as the Patient Experience Manager at Medbelle. I make sure that patients are involved in each and every step of their own journey in order to achieve the highest standards of secondary care and be able to deliver the most exceptional one-to-one personal care.
As part of Medbelle’s promise of excellent care to all patients, we go the extra mile to ensure we’re providing the best quality care by collecting and analysing patient outcomes (their experience, results and care received). Collecting patient feedback and analysing patient satisfaction to track and monitor performance trends allow for a greater understanding of the patient experience. This gives Medbelle an immediate insight into the potential challenges that must be addressed, which allows us to be more successful in improving the overall quality of care that we provide for our patients.
Ultimately, when patients have a good experience this implies that they are satisfied and it goes without saying that patient satisfaction is nowadays more important than ever which is the driving force of everyone who works at Medbelle. As medical costs increase worldwide, patients now want to be more involved and are increasingly shopping around for healthcare services, and seeking the best possible overall experience when they need care. In addition to that, and when it involves health, patients will always choose their best options in terms of service and experience, and this is my role at Medbelle, to ensure they get the best of both.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you overcome them?
I believe challenges develop the skills, confidence and courage for us to be the better version of ourselves. Specifically during this period of my life where I have several challenges that I am dealing with on a daily basis:
- Leaving my long time job, country and family behind and coping with a completely new environment.
- Maintaining a healthy work-life balance given all the new changes.
- Gaining trust - it takes some time to gain the trust of co-workers to get them on board with your ideas. With Medbelle’s diverse culture, I’m actually enjoying and learning a lot while I face this challenge.
I'm someone who believes that we overcome our fears and challenges by facing them with a positive attitude.
Surgery is such a big decision for patients, do you have any recommendations as to how they can mentally prepare?
Yes definitely, the decision of undergoing any kind of surgery is not an easy thing, even simple ones. This is very common as most fear comes from the unknown or loss of control.
In order to overcome this, patients have to trust their surgeons and providers. At Medbelle, we believe that all patients should have direct access to the best professional medical advice in order to make an informed decision on their procedure and this plays a role in patients building this trust with us and the surgeon. Moreover, when patients are involved in each and every step of their care, they gain a sense of control which ultimately increases their confidence and trust in Medbelle and the surgeons. This will help them be mentally very well prepared for the surgery.
Another recommendation would be that patients discuss all their worries with their Patient Care Advisers at Medbelle and their surgeon prior to the procedure date. We will explain what to expect before, during, and after surgery.
One last piece of advice for patients: View your surgery as unveiling a positive future with a better quality of life. And when it is with Medbelle, there’s no need to worry.
How do you look after your own mental health?
Mental health is important at every stage of life, it includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
Personally, I manage to look after my mental health by maintaining a work-life balance, connecting with people that I feel comfortable with, and taking special care of myself.
I pursued my dream not very long ago by studying fashion design, as I realised that it can always be a hobby that I can enjoy in my free time. It is very important to always listen to our guts, to pursue dreams no matter what stage in our lives we are in, and to avoid negativity in all its forms.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding cosmetic surgery? How do you think we can change perceptions for the better?
Yes definitely, cosmetic surgery and body modification treatments are surrounded by a lot of stigmas. In some cultures, it is even a taboo subject for discussion.
However, the perception is changing nowadays due to better access to information, less invasive techniques and less-expensive alternatives, which made these kinds of surgeries more accessible. Raising awareness on those aspects will definitely help us change the perception and make people more aware of the goodness that cosmetic surgery brings, and thus accepting it.
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