Patient satisfaction is one of the cornerstones of any healthcare institution seeking to uphold and advance the quality of their health services. Nowadays, it’s a widely-discussed topic across the healthcare industry because it impacts daily business operations one way or another. As a result, plenty of administrators are seeking ways to increase their satisfaction ratings.
But why is patient satisfaction paramount? Moreover, what are the ways one can improve patient satisfaction?
Importance of Patience Satisfaction
Improving satisfaction rating is a challenge every healthcare provider must address. These patients’ experiences and what they might say after speak volumes on your healthcare management system and overall reputation. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that you render the highest quality of service to these people.
How Can You Improve Patient Satisfaction?
The key to ensuring patient satisfaction is in your institution’s core values which are, in turn, reflected in your daily operations. Both hospital staff and medical professionals alike are responsible for creating a holistic and supportive environment for patients.
Here are some viable changes you can make today:
1. Ease of Access To Medical Records
Some patients get admitted to a healthcare facility due to accidents that result in physical injuries. Many of them may decide to file an accident claim or eventually pursue a case. One of the standard necessities during claims evaluation is the patient’s medical records. It’s a document that contains specific patient information, the series of tests they’ve undergone, health checks, treatment, and medication, to name a few.
According to Alan Fuchsberg, patients and their representatives have the right to obtain an exact copy of their medical records under federal law. Their attending physicians must prepare and provide these medical documents no later than 30 days after receiving a formal request. Ensuring that these are promptly handled is one way to boost the patient’s satisfaction with your institution.
2. Personalize the Patient Experience
During their hospital stay, patients unquestionably want to feel comfortable, secured, and understood. When they’re ill or in pain, they want to make sure that all their needs are met. What you can do to help is to let them feel that someone cares for them.
Consider providing on-demand access to certain services including the following:
- Food services
- Personal care
- Valet services
- Prescription fulfillment services
- Access to electronic medical record
There are a lot of things other than the specific services mentioned above. Regardless of what the patient is suffering from, they’ll genuinely appreciate a healthcare institution that provides these types of personalized services for them.
3. Ensure A Clear Communication
Misunderstandings frequently happen in the health industry. These misunderstandings can arise due to poor communication from both the patient and the healthcare provider. When there’s an unresolved dispute, it will often lead to poor patient satisfaction.
To avoid these undesirable experiences, healthcare professionals need to communicate clearly with their patients. Make it a routine to clearly explain their condition and what symptoms they may expect to have. Another helpful thing is to instruct the patients concerning their medications accurately.
Nowadays, this is not much of a problem. Technology has made talking to patients more accessible and efficient. You can opt to converse with them using video conference and messaging applications. For some patients, using telehealth services leads to more convenient and satisfactory results.
When your patient feels that you’re easily reachable when they have immediate concerns, it’ll undoubtedly add to their contentment of your services.
4. Optimize the Waiting Process
Often, patients need to wait because of the sheer number of people that are seeking medical attention in your waiting room. A situation like this can be quite uncomfortable to some. Feelings of anxiety and uneasiness further aggravate the scenario.
So, what can you do? First, you can decide to adopt an optimized appointment scheduling system to manage the number of patients who come in and out of your establishment. Another way is to make sure that there are sufficient staff members to cater to the patients’ needs. You can also invest in improving their comfort while waiting and provide chairs, tables, TVs, magazines, and internet services.
All of these subtle details can have a lasting impact on the atmosphere in any medical institution. Your patients will feel comfortable, and they’ll be glad to stay and wait because they understand that you cared for them.
5. Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact is another personalized way to extend your sincerity to your patients. It makes them feel that you’re listening to their concerns and that you’re trying to comprehend the entire situation. It’s a subtle thing, but it speaks volumes to the quality of service that you provide.
6. Be Punctual
Punctuality is another example of a practitioner’s commitment to quality service. When you’re on-time with your scheduled appointments, it sends a clear message that you respect your patient’s busy day, and you don’t want to waste any time.
When you’re met with challenging daily schedules, you may need to examine the scheduling management and your healthcare institution’s staffing needs.
7. Don’t Forget to Smile
The warmest of smiles can comfort even the most aching hearts. This saying is true even in medical practices. People who extend their smiles to others can make the latter feel comfortable during depressing moments. And when you smile, your patients will have a feeling of reassurance and hope.
It costs nothing, but it impacts people so much. So, the next time you see your patients, extend a warm greeting and a charming smile. It’ll ease the burden they’re feeling. It’s no wonder those medical providers who aren’t stingy about their smiles have high patient satisfaction ratings.
As highlighted above, there are numerous ways to improve your healthcare institution’s patient satisfaction ratings. However, it needs to be pointed out that enhancing this rating takes continuous effort from all the members of the institution. There should be an in-depth understanding of all the factors that might influence these patient satisfaction ratings.
All in all, it’s a challenging task since you’re dealing with numerous patients with unique characters and personalities. But it’s easier to do this if your institution collaborates and develops strategies that aim to improve patient satisfaction.