How to Improve Patient Satisfaction – 5 Easy StepsPosted: June 22, 2022 - By Health Dev
Healthcare organizations often focus on providing quality medical care to ensure the best health outcomes. This is important to help improve patients’ health and retain them. But patients don’t always know how to measure the quality of care they receive. They generally return to healthcare providers that meet their expectations and that they can trust. Patients look for approachable healthcare professionals and medical staff that acknowledge and respond to their personal needs.
This is where patient satisfaction plays an important role. A patient will return to your practice if they’re satisfied with the experience and patient care. Your practice’s success depends on patient satisfaction. Satisfied patients will keep coming back to you and recommend your practice to others.
So, here’s how to improve patient satisfaction to retain your clients and improve your practice.
What Is Patient Satisfaction?
When patients visit a medical facility, they expect:
- Excellent healthcare
- Quality time with medical professionals
- Easy booking and scheduling options
- Friendly and approachable medical staff
- A great overall patient experience
- Good health outcomes
If you meet these expectations, you’ll have happy and satisfied clients who’ll keep coming back.
Patient satisfaction is customer satisfaction that depends on the quality of healthcare and patient experience you provide. It measures whether your healthcare services meet your patients’ expectations. It’s your patients’ way of evaluating your services.
Patient satisfaction in healthcare impacts patient outcomes and patient retention. It’s an effective indicator of your medical practice’s success and growth. Improving patient experience and patient satisfaction can help you run your practice better and keep your patients happy.
How to Improve Patient Satisfaction
As a healthcare provider, your priority is to understand your patients’ expectations and deliver quality care based on their needs. Here are some ways to improve patient satisfaction.
1. Track the Patient Experience With Patient Satisfaction Surveys
Sometimes, your patients may wish to provide feedback about their experience at your healthcare facility. Getting their honest opinion can help you understand their problems and expectations. You can then find ways to improve your operations.
Use patient satisfaction surveys or patient experience surveys to get your patients’ feedback after their appointment and track the patient experience. These surveys include specific questions about your practice and services. You can add questions about the booking process, medical and administrative staff, practices, appointments, physician, treatment, quality of care, and overall experience.
With a consistent scale, your patients can provide ratings for your services. Based on their responses, you can calculate patient satisfaction scores. This will help you understand how your patients view your practice and services. Incorporate the feedback and improve your medical practice to further enhance the patient experience and patient satisfaction.
2. Strive to Improve Patient-Physician Communication
Your relationship with a patient starts when they book an appointment and continues as long as they’re associated with your practice. Throughout this association, the quality of communication between you and your patient is crucial for patient satisfaction. When a patient visits you, they look for reliable, skilled staff members who communicate well and respond to their queries.
Your medical and administrative staff must interact with each patient with care and respect. Here are some tips on how to improve patient experience through better communication:
- Provide clear instructions to your patients during the appointment.
- Encourage your patients to ask questions about treatment procedures.
- Make sure your patients don’t feel ignored. Ask your staff to interact and engage with patients when they visit. Offer help or answer their questions respectfully.
- Ensure that all communication is patient-related. Avoid discussing personal issues around patients and focus on their needs.
- Maintain a friendly, welcoming tone and body language during patient interaction. This will help your patients feel at ease around you.
- Spend enough time with each patient and don’t make them feel rushed. If they’re given less time than expected, they may feel dissatisfied.
- Follow up with patients after treatment. This will let them know that you care about their health and value them.
These meaningful gestures can improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. They also allow you to build patient loyalty, form long-term patient relationships, and grow your practice.
3. Improve Patient Retention With a Smooth Check-in Process & Shorter Wait Times
Delayed check-ins and long wait times can frustrate your patients, resulting in poor patient satisfaction scores. So greet your patients when they arrive and help them check in immediately. Direct them to the waiting area and give them an estimated wait time. Stick to your appointment schedule as well as possible to avoid longer wait times than expected. If a patient’s wait time is extended due to an emergency, inform them and update their wait time.
Improving patient experience and satisfaction starts with a simple and convenient appointment booking process. An online booking system allows your staff to simplify patient management, booking, and check-in processes. Patients schedule appointments online based on their preferences. They can also easily reschedule their appointments. This significantly reduces wait times and boosts patient satisfaction.
4. Train Your Office Staff to Respond to Feedback From Patients Gracefully
Getting feedback from patients is crucial for patient satisfaction. But it’s even more important to educate your staff members on how to gracefully respond to the feedback.
Here are some tips to help your staff handle patient feedback:
- Always be friendly and approachable.
- If a patient expresses a negative concern, listen to them carefully and understand their point of view.
- Avoid arguing or getting defensive with patients.
- Ask them questions to understand their feedback.
- Thank them for letting you know about their concerns.
- Apologize to them and offer them a solution.
- Incorporate the feedback into your operations.
Training your staff to respond to feedback will ensure that your team focuses on a common goal — improving patient experience and satisfaction.
5. Improve Clinical Outcomes to Boost Patient Satisfaction Scores
A healthcare provider’s priority is to deliver quality care and ensure the best patient outcomes. Better health outcomes guarantee patient satisfaction.
However, you must follow best practices at your medical practice and focus on the quality of care. Use online systems and processes to save time and effort so you can focus on patient care. With efficient operations and a patient-friendly approach, you’ll have better patient outcomes. Incorporate the feedback from patient satisfaction surveys to provide personalized care to your patients. This will improve patient experience and health outcomes, leading to higher patient satisfaction scores.