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Low patient satisfaction causes — and how to address them

Patient satisfaction in healthcare practices is extremely important. Uncover the top causes of patient dissatisfaction, which negatively impact patient retention.

Few healthcare providers consider medicine to be a customer service field, but many patients disagree. Modern patients — particularly Millennials and members of Gen Z — have high customer service expectations. And because healthcare options are bountiful, they won’t hesitate to switch providers if those expectations aren’t met.

The first step to improving patient satisfaction is understanding where practices fall short of expectations. See the below infographic for five complaints patients commonly have about practices as well as changes practices should make to better meet expectations.

Are your patients satisfied with your practice’s customer service? Sending patient satisfaction surveys is often the best way to find out. Automated surveys are especially ideal, as they do not require any additional work by staff, and they’re distributed at an effective cadence.

Learn more about what patients want in the blog post “10 things patients wish they could tell their healthcare providers.”

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See how you compare to other practices in your local area and specialty.

Infographic data and sources

  1. 20% of patients say scheduling appointments is the most frustrating step in the patient journey. 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey, Binary Fountain
  2. 51% of patients say they have booked appointments via a doctor’s website, patient portal, or third-party site. 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey, Binary Fountain
  3. The average wait time for a physician appointment for the 15 largest metro markets is 24.1 days. 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times, Merritt Hawkins
  4. Patients spend 20 minutes in the waiting room on average before being taken to an exam room. 2017 DataDive Practice Operations Survey, MGMA
  5. More than one-quarter of patients (28%) say wait time is the most frustrating part of visiting the doctor. 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey, Binary Fountain
  6. 49% of patients say the ability to communicate with their provider through video conferencing would increase their likelihood of choosing that provider. 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, U.S. Results, Accenture
  7. 92% of consumers want full access to their electronic health record (EHR), but only 49% have full access. 2016 Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement, U.S. Report, Accenture
  8. 78.8% of patients say they have used a patient portal. Of these, 83.3% use the portal to access test results, 59.3% view their personal health record, and 47.2% fill out forms before an appointment. Maximizing Patient Access and Scheduling, MGMA
  9. 39.2% of patients have posted a negative care-related review. The patient perspective 2019: Online reputation, PatientPop
  10. 51.8% of patients who have posted a negative review of a provider are not contacted about their concerns. The patient perspective 2019: Online reputation, PatientPop
  11. When a provider or staff member contacts an unhappy patient, the rate of satisfaction doubles, increasing 99 percent. The rate of dissatisfaction drops 59 percent. The patient perspective 2019: Online reputation, PatientPop
  12. 65% of patients say healthcare service cost transparency is critically or very important in determining satisfaction. 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, U.S. Results, Accenture
  13. 45% of patients say providers do not communicate about insurance coverage and payment responsibilities — or they do a poor job of it. 10 Ways to Fulfill Patients’ Communication Wish List, West
PatientPop is the leader in practice growth with the only all-in-one solution that empowers healthcare providers to improve every digital touchpoint of the patient journey. As experts in the healthcare technology space, PatientPop makes it easy for providers to thrive in the consumerization of healthcare and promote their practice online, attract patients, and retain them for life.

The combined power of Kareo and PatientPop

As leaders in clinical, financial, and practice growth technology, Kareo and PatientPop have joined forces as Tebra to support the connected practice of the future and modernize every step of the patient journey.

Learn more