Is improving patient satisfaction high on your list of new year’s resolutions? It should be. Here’s why: patients are consumers. Just like any other consumer, they desire care that is sophisticated, accessible and easy. What’s more, patients rate physicians on consumer sites like Healthgrades and Yelp – and aren’t shy about giving bad reviews. Rather than risking a HIPAA violation by firing back publicly, improve your care so you’ll be rated 5 stars.
If that seems like a daunting, arbitrary goal, here’s a secret: 5-star ratings aren’t contingent on your competence as a doctor; patients already expect doctors that are clinically capable. In order to retain their business, you’ll have to give them more. You’ll have to provide care that is cost-effective, convenient and personal. High-quality care services are directly linked to increased market share, profits and savings. Healthcare quality also affects patient satisfaction, which in turn influences patient loyalty.
Here are four ways you can improve your patient satisfaction:
- Communicate with your patients and be more accessible. Don’t you hate when patients follow a Google rabbit-hole and self-diagnose? One way to prevent this is to be more available. Set up a plan for after-hours needs and same-day appointments so patients can be treated even if they aren’t on the schedule that day.
- Streamline appointments. Do your patients have to call your office to make an appointment with you? That’s as antiquated as having to call a cab when Uber exists. Instead, make sure your patients can go online and book appointments on their own. No-show rates decrease when patients have the ability to make their own appointments.
- Use a portal that allows patients to access their records and pay their bills online.
According to AthenaInsight, the research arm of the electronic medical record company AthenaHealth, some 84% of Americans want access to their health records, but only 37% have it. Give patients medical autonomy by making it easier for them to access their own records and pay their bills online.
- Follow up with patients: At Privia, we believe that the patient-physician relationship is the nexus of healthcare. Be sure to contact patients a few days after their visit to see how they’re doing. Contact them weeks later to check on their progress and use this correspondence as an opportunity inquire about scheduling a follow-up appointment. They’ll appreciate the extra contact, and they’ll see you more often.
As a provider, you should be regularly monitoring your quality of care and implementing service delivery improvements to maintain high levels of patient satisfaction. Patients are taking the driver’s seat and they’re no longer satisfied with good care. They want good customer service as well. Is your practice five-star worthy?
Do you need help implementing any of these services in your practice? Contact Privia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 765-7610.