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5 Easy Ways to Boost Patient Satisfaction at Your Healthcare Practice

These five easy tips will take your patients’ experience from good enough to 5-star review remarkable.

First, the good news: 96% of patients are happy with their doctors.

The other news is that they don’t like all the hassles that happen before they get to you.

Is your practice doing everything possible to increase patient satisfaction? If not, implementing processes to improve patient satisfaction should be focused on one thing: Communication.

With 53% of patients reporting frustration with communications, you and your staff have the opportunity to quickly improve how information is shared.

Here are five ways you can brighten your patients’ day…starting today!

  1. When they check in, let patients know right away if there is a delay, and how long they can expect to wait. People prefer honesty; they have rescheduled their day to be there and can decide how to use the time. Keep patients updated regularly, too. If you know beforehand, try to call them before they come in so they can take a little longer getting there.
  2. Provide clear instructions on how to contact the office, make appointments, handle after-hour emergencies, and request prescription refills. It might not be as obvious as you think. Post the information on your website, printed materials, and on any automatic phone message.
  3. Remind all staff that they are “the face” of your practice. Every word and action can make a difference in every patient’s experience. There is really no place for a bad day when you’re client-facing.
  4. Use your and your patient’s name to make communication feel more personal and friendly. Staff should wear visible nametags to help patients feel comfortable; a first name is adequate for office staff. Address patients by Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. as a sign of respect and it’s always a nice touch to use the patient’s name when talking to them; as Dale Carnegie says, ‘There’s no sweeter sound to a person’s ear than the sound of his/her own name.’
  5. Recap the appointment with a take-home reference. Give the patient a printed summary of the visit, along with any instructions and patient education material. Patients like having a reference to help them recall and review what you talked about. You can also offer them the opportunity to have the summary emailed to them and/or uploaded into their Patient Portal.

Patients equate a positive experience with quality. Studies in a wide range of medical specialties show that when they are shown courtesy, care, and concern, patients are more likely to be loyal and compliant. A few changes in the communication process can lead to a better outcome for everyone.

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