The patient experience matters … 5 easy ways to improve it
For all the work your practice does to boost patient engagement and outcomes, you can improve patients’ experience in a dramatic way with a few small adjustments. In fact, you can make many of these changes today. Sound too good to be true? Read on.
Remember, the patient experience matters. Happy patients are likely to return, become more involved in their care, and refer others to your practice. Unhappy patients, meanwhile, may go somewhere else, or may even hesitate to seek care. They may also go online to post negative reviews about your practice, requiring additional social media management on your end.
Here are a few simple things you can do to improve the experience … starting today.
1. Consider first impressions
Is the furniture in your office clean and comfortable? Are there current magazines and brochures for patients to read? Are there televisions, and if so, is the volume at a reasonable level? Patients notice these details.
2. Be discreet
Encourage staff to lower their voice when discussing sensitive information. Are documents bearing patients’ names and protected health information (PHI) kept out of sight? Patients have come to your practice to talk about a private matter: their health.
3. Respect patients’ time
You can’t always guarantee that appointments will run on schedule, but your staff can acknowledge the value of patients’ time when they speak to them, and even let them know how long they should expect to wait. Using an online patient portal to gather information ahead of the appointment helps reduce wait times.
Do practice staff and providers deal with patients in a respectful and sympathetic manner at all stops of the journey? Are schedulers courteous on the phone? At the front desk, are check-in staff friendly and welcoming? Encourage staff to listen to what patients have to say and be prepared to offer friendly, encouraging responses.
5. Give patients access
Does your practice use a patient portal that allows patients to book appointments, see lab results, or get answers about their insurance coverage? A portal can empower patients to seek answers on their own and become more involved in their healthcare.
Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. How do they feel when they enter your office? Flustered to be missing work? Nervous about test results? Eager to complete their appointment and get on with their day? A pleasant office experience can help relieve their stress, rather than add to their anxiety.
For more information, click here to schedule a conversation with a Greenway representative.