Why Patient Experience Should Matter in Your Practice
Customer service is important to an organization’s success, no matter the industry. When it comes to health care, providing excellent customer service, or patient experience, is much more unique and difficult than in other industries.
There’s a good chance that consumers are coming to your office because they are sick and needing treatment; they may not want to be at your office and there is a good chance they are in a sensitive and vulnerable state. This makes providing an excellent patient experience more of a challenge in this industry.
Why should I focus my practice’s resources on providing an excellent patient experience?
Besides the forces of CMS reimbursements and recent changes in health care, here are three reasons why your practice should keep patient experience as a top priority:
- Competition. In the past couple of years patients have increasingly taken on large roles in choosing which physicians or practitioners they go to; patients are more informed of factors now, and are using online resources more and more. The majority of patients do research on your practice before making an appointment; sites such as Yelp, RateMDs, and HealthGrades are top ones to look at. When patients have a poor or excellent experience at your office, they are likely to share about that experience on one of those sites.
- Patient Safety. Not only does a great patient experience lead to more satisfied patients, it also leads to patients who are more compliant. This is because patients who receive exemplary service feel listened to and genuinely cared for. Patients in a more vulnerable or sensitive state need to feel a sense of trust to be able to open up to practitioners, which in turn leads to them receiving better care. The safest, highest quality and most efficient care is achieved when patient experience levels are high.
- Operations. Have you ever dealt with an upset patient in your office? Whether an upset patient is in-person or is calling in to your office, multiple people tend to get involved in the situation, conversations need to take place in your office to determine what went wrong, and the situation needs to be rectified to fix the problem at hand. Situations such as these can really through a wrench into your workday. Happy patients help keep more efficient workflows with less interruptions.
Here’s a win-win scenario for you - happy patients improve the satisfaction of your employees as well!
Having a solid foundation in place for patient experience in your practice can take time and work, but the work you put in place will provide you with gains in your practice in return.
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