Strategies for improving patient satisfaction at your clinic
Patient dissatisfaction can lead to declining attendance, and as Physicians Practice outlined, you could even lose money in the form of government fines. That’s why it is so important to ensure that strategies are implemented to boost patient satisfaction at all times. This is crucial given that online patient review sites and social media platforms such as Twitter can quickly disseminate negative reviews of your business.
If you’re noticing a decline in patient satisfaction at your clinic or simply want to consolidate an already strong patient management plan, read on for some effective tips:
1. Start the day early
Few things frustrate patients more than nurses and doctors who are running behind schedule. After all, patients have lives and other places to be, and if your care team is running late, this can have a problematic knock on effect for the patients. As outlined by Physicians Practice, an effective strategy for curtailing the likelihood of a delayed schedule is having your staff start at early as possible prior to their first appointment. For example, if your physician arrives an hour or so before the clinic opens for business, he or she will have plenty of time to catch up on administrative duties such as answering emails and reviewing electronic health records – tasks which may otherwise delay the appointment schedule.
“Have your physicians arrive an hour or so before the clinic opens.”
2. Emphasize customer service
Complaints of rude receptionists or emotionally detached doctors are not uncommon in the medical field, and it can be a significant contributor to patient dissatisfaction. According to Customer Service Consultant Micah Solomon, writing in Forbes, such behavior can send the message that your patients are unimportant. An effective strategy to remedy this problem is to hold regular training sessions for all staff on how to best interact with patients. Teach your staff about the importance of friendly customer service, which is underpinned by behaviors such as using a welcoming tone when speaking, asking if anything can be done to improve the patient’s satisfaction and making plenty of eye contact. As Physicians Practice elaborated, making eye contact is an especially important skill for your physicians to master, as it indicates caring and compassion, two things that patients typically value most in their doctors.
3. Apologize for delays
Be sure to have your front desk staff apologize for any delays and provide patients with routine updates, Decisive Health stated. After all, nothing compounds the frustration of a long wait more than not knowing what is happening and an estimated wait time.
4. Have accessible information
Receiving test results, requesting refills, making appointments and other tasks can be confusing for patients, especially for the elderly. That’s why it’s important to make this basic information as accessible as possible. Have the information presented in several ways – produce brochures, signs for your waiting rooms, frequently asked questions page on your website and also a hotline that patients can call to make inquiries. Physicians Practice explained that it’s also a wise idea to have doctors outline what is expected of patients in terms of next steps at the end of each appointment. This is because, as the source noted, patients will often complain of confusion in terms of what to do after their appointment.
5. Single-use devices
A growing number of medical practices are reaping the benefits of using single-use medical devices, such as the impressive range offered by OBP Medical. Devices like the Single-Use Vaginal Speculum with Built-In LED Light Source can help save your practice time, by eliminating the lengthy disinfection process associated with reusable instruments. With more time, your physicians will be able to see more patients, no doubt boosting satisfaction in the process. Furthermore, single-use devices also reduce the risk of cross-contamination, which could lead to HPV infection or SSI infection in rare cases. The safer nature of these tools will also likely make your patients feel more secure. For more information on the range of single-use devices offered by OBP Medical, click here.