One of the vital components of health care is patient experience. Whether they are just doing a routine visit or admitted in the emergency room, providing a positive experience for them is a must to build trust. Hence, as a healthcare provider or clinician, you should prioritize it as a step in the continuum of care.
In this article, we provided some simple tips that you can use to improve patient experience in your facility.
How to Improve Patient Experience
Most patients have high expectations when it comes to their experience at your clinic. They want it to be more like a customer service. In other words, they want to be treated like any person would like to be treated.
Use these tips to make your patients happy:
1. Minimize waiting time
One of the most common complaints of patients are long waiting times. If it is a complaint in your office as well, this is the best time to fix it. Make solid scheduling guidelines in place so that your healthcare providers avoid overbooking. Also, let the patients know that things are running behind so that they are prepared to wait or can come a few minutes later than their scheduled appointment.
2. Show interest
Show interest about the experience of your patients. For instance, have your front desk staff greet patients as they walk in the door. It is a very courteous thing to do. It will make them feel important and see that you’re interested in making them happy.
3. Make them feel comfortable
Instead of handing the papers to patients as they walk inside the hospital, help them get comfortable. Have your staff come out of their desk and show patients where they can buy coffee, where to hang coats, where to get newspapers and magazines, and more. All the things that the staff can offer while the patient is waiting for their appointment.
4. Start conversations
Good and clear communication is crucial in providing the best patient experience. So, make sure that the staff is communicating well with patients. Have them greet the patients by name if they already have a record in the hospital. For new patients, on the other hand, ask for their name and determine how you can help with their needs.
Always remember, talking to people or starting a conversation is an important step in showing interest. So, ask them how their day went, what they think about the weather, their opinion on something, and any anything that can help spark a conversation.
5. Demonstrate commitment
Show patients that you are committed to their well-being and safety. You can do this by providing a rigorous and clear safety protocol. Take note that patients want to know that you are taking their health seriously. Communicating your safety checklists and protocols to them properly will help you do it.
6. Manage their expectations
Make sure to manage their expectations. For instance, if a patient inquires for your services, explain what procedures will be done and how long they’re going to wait. Map everything out so that the patient knows what to expect. This small step can go a long way in making patients feel comfortable.
7. Show concern
If the patient has any concern or question, ask them to make a list. Once you receive the list, tell them what to expect in their first appointment. This demonstrates that you care about them and their needs.
8. Simplify the billing process
Provide a seamless experience in your practice’s billing process. This is crucial because those who find your billing process easy to do are more likely to pay in full, come back, and recommend you to their friends. Hence, train your staff to discuss the payments clearly. Then, also tell them to provide an accurate computation of the bill and explain what the all the charges are.
9. Do follow ups
Always do follow ups with your patients. This will make most of them feel a stronger bond with you and your practice. Sure, you can’t ask as their daily healthcare coach, but you can get them engaged by providing generic wellness plans when they have an appointment.
10. Be accessible all the time
As mentioned earlier, communication is very important in providing the best patient experience. If you are unable to talk directly with your patients, they will be disappointed. So, make sure to have direct communication with them. If you’re not available, you can consider exchanging messages via text or chat.
These are just some of the simple yet effective tips that you can use to improve patient experience. Consider applying them to your practice, they will help you build patients’ trust and get higher quality outcomes.