There are almost 1 million active physicians working in the United States. Add in medical professionals from alternative health disciplines and that staggering number inflates significantly.
With the population’s health-consciousness peaking, whether you’re a practitioner of western medicine, eastern or anything in-between, you stand to gain a lot in today’s market. That is, of course, if you invest in your patient experience.
Your patient experience is a combination of factors that leave the people who do business with you satisfied or feeling dejected. If you’re unsure of how best to maximize your consumer’s perception of your business, keep reading.
Below, we outline a handful of tips that are worth integrating into your practice.
1. Have a Website
There are billions of websites online right now. The reason why there are so many and why that number continues to grow is that consumers increasingly expect to be able to learn about companies online.
If your company doesn’t have a website, you’re behind the curve.
Fortunately, building a website today is simple. Look no further than free tools like WordPress to get started.
2. Make Scheduling Simple
One of the great pains of doing business with medical offices is scheduling appointments. With the advent of online scheduling, that chore has become easier.
Rather than having to wait on hold and negotiate times with a service representative, patients should be able to log in to an online account, pick a time from a calendar and quickly book an appointment with your practice.
3. Keep People Notified
Your patients have a lot going on in their lives. Keeping in touch with them can be a huge help when it comes to being aware of health threats, deals you have coming up, or appointment times.
Notifying people of things that are important to them can be done via text, email, or other mediums your clients should have the opportunity to opt into.
4. Let Patients Fill Out Intake Papers Online
The days of handing patients lengthy documents to fill out when they check-in for treatment should be long gone. All intake documents are better off being emailed to patients 48-hours or so before their treatment takes place.
That will allow them to make their check-in experience much more seamless and will help your office stay on track with its schedule.
5. Make a Positive Attitude Part of Your Team’s Culture
No matter what sort of negative things you have going on in your medical practice, a little bit of positivity can largely gloss over those shortcomings. That’s why we contend that having a positive attitude is one of the biggest drivers of a positive patient experience.
While having a good attitude might seem like a no-brainer, it often takes training. Talk to your team members regularly about managing their emotions, conflict de-escalation, and other important skills related to taking great care of patients.
6. Keep Access to Care Attainable
We understand that most medical services are offered with the intent to make money. Despite that, consider doing what you can to make your services as financially attainable to patients as possible.
Do you need to charge fees for first-time appointment cancellations? Can you work with more insurance providers? How can you bring costs down for patients that are struggling to pay?
By answering those questions, you enable patients in need to get better access to healthcare. That, in turn, will buoy their experience.
7. Listen Intently
Patients that seek medical services are usually having issues. Those issues may be causing them great stress which is adversely affecting their lives.
To help your patients alleviate their stress, not only do you want to provide them with solutions to the problems they’re facing but you also want to let them get their issues off of their chests. Therein lies the value of being a great listener.
When you ask patients about their problems, let them take their time describing their symptoms. Don’t come to conclusions before they’ve finished talking and never rush them.
Not only does listening allow you to do your job better but believe us when we say that allowing people to share can do wonders for their mental health.
8. Request Feedback
You’ve taken all of the tips we’ve shared with you to heart and have strategically implemented them. Have your efforts created success? Are people enjoying working with your practice more as a result of your hard work?
There’s no way to more efficiently drive your patient experience than by asking patients questions about your team’s temperament, your office’s vibe (as is described in this article by Arminco), and any other questions you have. That feedback can be attained by sending your patient’s online surveys after their visits.
If you really want to get patients to take the time to share their feedback, attach an incentive to them providing input. Getting entered into prize drawings or future visit discounts are both great bonuses to start with.
A Good Patient Experience Means Good Business
No business is going to find success when it builds its foundation on poor patient experience. To be successful, you need customers. To gain and keep customers, you need to take great care of them.
We trust that the tips we’ve shared will empower you to do exactly that.
And remember, you don’t have to implement every tip we’ve shared with you all at once. Taking small steps in the right direction can have a profound impact.
Do you need more guidance on running your medical practice? If you do, don’t hesitate to read additional content on our blog.