6 Sure Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

6 Sure Ways to Improve the Patient Experience 1

If you think all your patients at your medical practice are happy, then think again. Over 90% of unhappy patients won’t say anything and instead, will just walk away and choose another practitioner. And consider this: for every person that complains, there are another 26 who are silent.

Even if you feel like you run your practice well, there’s always room for improvement. You’re your patients’ advocates, so making the patient experience as best as possible should be your top priority.

Keep reading for 6 ways to improve the patient experience at your medical office.

1. Cut Down on Waiting Time

One of the biggest things that irk patients is waiting for long periods at the doctor’s office. What should be a quick 30-minute checkup can end up taking an entire afternoon due to wait times, so they’ll preemptively clear their schedules in anticipation of this.

Time is valuable, for both you and your patients. Show them that you respect and value them by minimizing wait times.

It’s a good idea to reevaluate your patient windows and perhaps schedule fewer appointments in the day. And if you know there will be major delays, the best thing to do is to communicate this with those in the waiting room. Transparency is key!

2. Make It Easier to Make Appointments

Traditionally, you’d make appointments with the assistant, who can get quite busy. They also need to take breaks, so if a patient is very unlucky, they might call multiple times in one day and still not get an appointment set up!

In addition to your assistant, you should consider creating an online portal where patients can log on any time of day to make appointments. These also allow them to view prior appointments, prescriptions, test results, and messages between you and them, so it’s handy to have.

Another useful thing to get is a medical answering service. Those who prefer to use the phone can call any time of day to schedule an appointment. Check out this medical answering service review if you’re interested.

3. Keep Your Waiting Room Clean and Comfortable

Your waiting room is the place patients see first, and they’ll spend a bit of time in there before they see you. It should be a top priority to keep it clean throughout the day so your patients feel comfortable and safe when they’re sitting there.

Speaking of comfortable, you’ll want to be conscious of how your waiting room’s set up. Check that the lighting isn’t too harsh, but that it isn’t so dark that they can barely see or read while waiting.

Also, be conscious of what pieces of furniture you choose for this area. They should be made of soft materials that are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and support.

Consider playing soft and soothing music and providing cold water. If you can make your waiting room like a spa, your patients will have a much better experience! In fact, it can make longer wait times more tolerable, so that’s a plus.

Compassionate and friendly service can go a long way. What may seem like a routine checkup to you might be terrifying for a patient. So you and your staff need to try putting yourselves in patients’ shoes more often.

Make sure all patients are greeted warmly when they come in. Train your staff to handle everything with kindness, patience, and discretion if needed.

Be mindful and present during your appointments. Acknowledge your patients’ pain and discomfort. Be an active listener and never rush your patients.

Pretend as if each patient is a family member. Treat them the way you’d want your loved ones treated and you’ll definitely be successful!

4. Be Friendly and Empathetic

Compassionate and friendly service can go a long way. What may seem like a routine checkup to you might be terrifying for a patient. So you and your staff need to try putting yourselves in patients’ shoes more often.

Make sure all patients are greeted warmly when they come in. Train your staff to handle everything with kindness, patience, and discretion if needed.

Be mindful and present during your appointments. Acknowledge your patients’ pain and discomfort. Be an active listener and never rush your patients.

Pretend as if each patient is a family member. Treat them the way you’d want your loved ones treated and you’ll definitely be successful!

5. Be Thorough With Patient Education

You might be familiar with medical terms, procedures, and medications, but the average person isn’t. Don’t just assume someone knows what to expect from a treatment you’re prescribing, and don’t rush through the explanation either.

Take the time to explain every step, even if it seems obvious. Answer all questions your patients might have and be honest. Never give them false hope or worries by over or underestimating how long they’ll need to be on a treatment plan. If needed, you can overestimate and under-promise a little so when they reach their goals, it’ll be a nice surprise.

6. Ask For Feedback

You might think you’re doing a good job, but you won’t know for sure unless you ask your patients. You can collect feedback in several ways.

First of all, you can directly ask your patients at the end of the appointment if they were satisfied. Or you can place a touchscreen where the patients exit so they can answer some quick questions.

If you’d like to provide them with some anonymity, you can send out email surveys. They can fill these out without putting in identifying information.

Make sure you take the feedback to heart and change things to accommodate patient needs.

Improve the Patient Experience at Your Medical Office With Our Tips

Many people aren’t happy with their patient experience, which is why improving patient care should be at the top of your to-do list.

This article should be a great place for you to start. But the most important thing about patient care is treating them with patience, compassion, and dignity. If you listen to what your patients want and make efforts to change and deliver on these needs, then that’ll make a huge difference!

Need more advice on how to run your doctor’s office? Then keep reading our blog page now!

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