3 Ways To Improve Your Patients’ Experience
If there is one thing a healthcare enterprise should value more than anything it is their patients’ experience. Sure, in the eyes of the physicians, doctors, and nurses, each appointment might only last ten to fifteen minutes but, it couldn’t be more different for the patient. Their experience started three weeks ago, when they book the appointment, and it’s going to continue long after they leave your office with whatever medication or advice they received. And the reason you need to care about this fact is that the competition in this industry couldn’t be higher. There is probably three other doctor’s offices or hospitals within a 20-mile radius of yours.
Of course, this begs the question: what can healthcare executives do to improve the patient experience they offer? Well, in order to help you answer that question, we’ve pulled together a list of ways you private practices can provide a consistently positive experience for each one of your patients.
It Starts In the Waiting Room
This is your first impression and the one part of the experience of every one of your patients loathes. It’s the passive clock watching, the rows of thinly-padded antimicrobial chairs, the layout, the sterile feeling and the fact there is nothing to do. So change this up. Change the layout to create little clusters of chairs and communal working spaces. Try engaging patients through environmental graphics and technology. Have a corner for children to play in and tablets with magazine subscriptions and games already downloaded. Anything that will make the time go quicker.
Improve Your Communication
Your ability to effectively communicate with your patients is no less important as your ability to treat them. That’s why you need to start asking your patients open-ended questions, the kind that will help you gain a better understanding of their condition, speeding up your appointments and, most importantly of all, improving the trust by being more transparent. But don’t stop with the appointment. Give your patients some take-home literature that uses their language, not the language used by medical professionals.
Practise Shared-Decision Making
If you haven’t heard of this approach before, it’s where you and your patients work together to make better healthcare decisions. It’s about combing your experience and the patient’s input.
This is so important because when a patient feels they have no control or say, it will discourage them no end, and that can mean way less compliance. You don’t want that. It’s a real headache. Compare that to the shared-decision approach and you will start to empower your patients. You will give them a sense of control and encourage them to take a super-active role in their health and treatment. They will know their opinion is valued, and that will go a long way in both their experience and their trust, both of which are good for business.
By using these three methods, you will see improved levels of employee satisfaction and that will lead to reduced turnover, which has more benefits to you than we can possibly highlight.