Patient satisfaction is a significant talking point in the healthcare industry. Satisfaction from patients is a good way to retain clients, attract new ones, prevent lawsuits, and receive reimbursements. These are only a few examples of how keeping patients happy can benefit in the long run. Healthcare organizations need to work hard to improve patient satisfaction because it is one of the greatest factors used to evaluate providers. Although it may seem elusive and difficult to manage, a few basic strategies can make all the difference.
Have a personalized Touch – Patient’s should feel comfortable when they come to your office for a visit. This starts with a friendly greeting from the front-of-office staff when they come in; it’s no secret that everyone likes a little bit of acknowledgment. Using the patient’s name during a visit shows him or her that your office values them as an individual. Remember, refer to the patient by name when appropriate to ensure confidentiality isn’t violated. To affirm patient respect, end the office visit with a warm “goodbye”. Patients will leave feeling happy and like the entire office is invested in their care.
Communicate – Whether you’re on the phone with a patient or communicating with them face-to-face, tell them what to expect. Remaining open to questions and feedback allows you to tell the patient what’s going on and eases any uncertainties they may have. All employees at the office can help keep the lines of communication open. According to the modern medicine network this, “applies to medical assistants bringing a patient back to an examining room, physicians making referrals to specialists, and check-out staff recapping the billing for visits.” Use empathy when talking to patients as well. This makes them feel more comfortable and welcome.
Listen – Listening is just as important as open communication. When listening to a patient, take note of their communication style and respond in a way that will make them feel comfortable. Make it a point to let your patient talk without interruption. The patient will feel heard, and you’ll be able to extract useful information. Make sure to look and listen for cues that could indicate dissatisfaction. If a patient looks like they have something on their mind ask and then listen to what they have to say.
Remaining personable, communicating, and listening are all great, and simple ways to help patients feel welcome and comfortable during their visit. Everyone in the office contributes to the patient experience, and thus should make sure to follow these guidelines.