Patient experience matters. Today’s competitive healthcare landscape requires providers to pay attention to the experience of their customers, or they will seek services elsewhere. Patient satisfaction scores are also a factor in hospital reimbursement. From social media ratings of doctors to CMS payments, it’s just good business for healthcare providers to pay close attention to the experience of your patients. Here are three ways clinical providers can improve the experience of their patients and improve their bottom line.
1. Increase Transparency
Patients get frustrated with healthcare providers that don’t help them understand what is going on. Taking the time to answer patient questions or providing them with education, so they understand their treatment plan improves the customer experience. Engaging patients in the decision-making process is important for reducing their anxiety when facing a health crisis.
This transparency can extend to open communication between clinicians and patients even after they leave your practice. Providing patients with a secure, HIPAA-compliant web portal is one way to connect with your customers long after they leave your practice or healthcare facility. These digital tools allow patients to review their personal health records, view their medical bills, or review test results. It’s a way for patients to feel like they are in control of their health and is a great way for you to engage with them and improve their overall experience.
2. Increase Accessibility
Once you open the door to better communication with your patients, you should also increase their ability to reach you and schedule appointments at their convenience. Be aware that your patients may travel from far away to reach your practice. That means clinical practices that offer alternative ways to see the doctor, whether it’s in the form of later evening appointments or video visits (telemedicine), can all help these patients have a better experience with your practice.
Telemedicine is a way to use the Internet to bring doctors or other clinicians to the patient via a cell phone or other connected device. The benefit for the patient experience is that they save the costs associated with travel and wait time to come to your practice. Instead, telemedicine is a form of virtual house call that your patients will appreciate.
3. Improve Practice Experience
Even the physical experience of your practice can strengthen the patient experience. Making a good impression starts with a well-designed professional website. It is usually the first place where your customer encounters your brand. Your website should have your practice specialties and mission. It should include headshots and bios of your clinicians and front office teams. Interactive tools that allow patients to map practice location, contact information, and office hours are important. We also recommend common FAQs and even patient testimonials to help new customers understand your practice. More sophisticated practices may have a patient portal that allows payments, scheduling, and even HIPAA-compliant emails to communicate with your practice.Improving your patient experience has a direct impact on your practice reputation, and ultimately, on your bottom line. Talk candidly with your team about these and other ways you can improve how your patients interact with your practice.