Patient satisfaction is an indicator of how well the patient is being treated. The “how well” refers not only to the quality of care but also to how happy a patient is with the treatment he or she received. It is a measure of care quality and gives healthcare providers valuable insights into various aspects of healthcare, including the effectiveness of their care and their level of understanding.
How to improve patient satisfaction
1. Train employees: Make sure staffs are focused on delivering service that is not only high-quality but also delivers a positive patient experience. The first step to ensuring patient-centric care is by making sure that your employees have this common goal in mind. One should convey the message to the staff that providing exceptional patient service is not an option; rather it is compulsory for every employee. Staff must realize the significance of providing excellent service to patients and their families.
2. Educate patients: Providing your patients with necessary information is critical to achieving a positive patient experience. A patient will feel empowered when he or she leaves your office with more knowledge about his or her diagnosis and treatment options. Not just that, studies have revealed that greater patient empowerment leads to better patient adherence, which leads to improvements in patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.
3. Differentiate between medical and non-medical staff: Patients find it frustrating when they are surrounded by so many people but are not sure whom to approach when they have a concern or a request. This may become even more frustrating when the patient approaches one employee only to be directed to another employee. The easiest way to differentiate your staff is by implementing different-colour uniforms.
4. Empower nurses: Nurses have a critical role in patient experience and improving the satisfaction level in patients. Nurses who are more experienced and independent will provide better patient care as they feel empowered in their work.
5. Be flexible: By improving the efficiency of practice, one can reduce long wait times both for scheduling appointments and while a patient is waiting to be seen. One of the top complaints of patients having to wait longer in the waiting room just to be seen. You can consider creating a system in which a patient is kept informed about wait times.
6. Build follow-up mechanism: Patients are often irritated by the inability to communicate with their providers between appointments. One can use technology and build systems that open the lines of communication between the doctor and the patient. This will not only foster long-term patient relationships, but it will create better clinical outcomes by making it easy for patients to schedule appointments.
Behind every great physician are employees who keep a practice running smoothly. Staff members are usually the first point of contact for patients and therefore require several professional skills. Staff must have a thorough understanding of services offered and should be trained to treat each patient with friendliness and compassion. Most of these skills are not just about good hiring practices, but also require practice-specific training.