What’s important to patients and three easy ways to measure approval.
Sometimes the flow of patients seems…well, over-flowing.
But if you’re continually running behind schedule, this could be a danger signal that your quality of care and patient satisfaction are not where you want them to be. Professional and personal fulfillment, for both practitioner and staff, may be running thin. And that’s a potentially poor environment for patient retention and patient referrals.
But achieving a good understanding of “the patient experience” involves many variables. Fortunately, the key issues are quantifiable, so here’s how to begin to measure patient satisfaction.
Cornerstones of the Patient Experience
Nothing is automatic, assured or assumed. A patient’s willingness to return (retention) depends only partly on their immediate need for your services. Each occasion of “need” is also an opportunity to select a preferred practitioner, a process strongly tempered by their last experience.
Plan your Patient Satisfaction Survey around these cornerstone issues:
- Issues of Quality of Care: Is the patient satisfied that the health care they sought has resolved or helped with their need or problem?
- Issues of Access: These include getting through on the phone, ease of making a timely appointment, in-office waiting times, ease and cost of parking, etc.
- Issues of Interpersonal Actions: Is the practitioner and assistants caring, concerned, compassionate? Is the receptionist courteous?
- Issues of Communication: Do you provide clearly understandable instructions, explanation of treatment plan, recovery time, treatment frequency, what you are going to do to get the XYZ condition better, etc.?
- Issues of Practitioner-Patient Interaction: Does the practitioner listen, answer all questions, spend enough time with the patient (or does he/she have the appearance of being late or rushed)?
It’s all about a one-to-one relationship.
The relationship that the patient feels or experiences is key for your practice success. And patients return to the practice because they feel connected, they have a sense of belonging, they get results & feel cared for.
Above all, when they feel they have been treated with respect-from the first phone call to the practitioner face-to-face, the measure of satisfaction goes up.