5 Ways to Boost Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare
Some of the leading causes of hospital readmissions and poor health outcomes can be attributed to ineffective care practices and dated procedures. Not only do these inefficiencies hinder an organization’s ability to deliver quality care, it can impact the patient experience, its reputation, bottom line and much more.
For many, providing a positive patient experience may often seem elusive or even sometimes difficult to achieve. However, if you can identify exactly what a patient wants and provide them a positive experience, you can begin establishing a lasting patient-provider relationship.
Here are five practices you should consider to improve your healthcare organization’s patient satisfaction performance.
1. Educate Staff
Informing all stakeholders on the importance of patient services and satisfaction is the first step to ensuring patient-centric care. You must ensure everyone involved—directly or indirectly—is on the same page with their goal aligned to the organization’s overall vision: to perform optimally and deliver lasting, positive results. Additionally, encourage your staff to offer objective feedback on current practices. Allow them to suggest ideas that they may have for improving patient satisfaction. Not only will this benefit you, but it will also help them feel valued by having a voice to impact positive change.
2. Improve Customer Service
Providing superior customer service in healthcare has become increasingly important in today’s value-based care model. People are craving a different approach when it comes to healthcare, says Dr. Shelena Lalji, Founder of Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa. “They’re looking for the service and attention, and they’re looking to be made feel important again.” Leaving patients feeling neglected or disrespected may result in costly ramifications for healthcare organizations such as negative PR, reduced reimbursements, and even a tarnished reputation among their patient base. Providers should include them at each point in their care and help them understand every step of the way.
3. Communicate Effectively
Understanding how to clearly communicate with patients and their families is important to provide safe and quality care. In fact, according to an article from Becker’s Hospital Review, “…more than a quarter of hospital readmissions could be avoided with better communication among healthcare teams and between providers and patients.” In response to this growing issue, HHS, an organization that provides support for healthcare facilities and senior living communities, says they teach their providers communication principles and guidelines that empower them to initiate a meaningful connection with the patients they serve. They also receive empathy training and are provided with key words to utilize so that they can effectively communicate with patients and visitors during times of need.
4. Gather Feedback
Soliciting timely feedback through surveys is a useful way to evaluate your organization’s current processes and procedures. Whether efficiencies or inefficiencies exist, no feedback is more valuable for a hospital today than from the patient. In the survey, include detailed and succinct questions that will formulate answers or clues on how you can better train your staff and operate your facility. Some examples may include:
- How often did nurses communicate with patients@f17
- How often did doctors communicate well with patients@f18
- How often did patients receive help quickly from hospital staff@f19
For more examples, visit www.medicare.gov.
5. Check-in With Patients
Last but definitely not least, following up with patients after they’ve been discharged from the hospital can make all the difference. Not only does it show genuine concern for their health, but it also gives them the opportunity to ask questions about their medications and recovery status. In the end, this kind gesture will help improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. It’s another opportunity to foster long-term patient relationships and offer exceptional customer service from beginning to end.
How has measuring patient satisfaction impacted your healthcare organization@f20 Have you seen a shift in consumer demands in the last few years@f21 Please share in the comments section below!