5 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction in Your Medical Practice
Patient satisfaction translates to dollars, whether positive or negative, in a medical practice. Managing satisfaction by serving patients better is therefore an investment in the entire organization. This is an important factor to remember, especially after the hectic and time-consuming changes involved in the shift to ICD-10 coding.
Patients want to be paid attention to, responded to, and respected. But oftentimes, those three needs are challenged by a hectic medical office schedule, crowded wait rooms, and overlapping appointments. So in the midst of the ICD-10 changeover and other chaos, remember these five things you can do to improve patient satisfaction:
- Benchmark Outside of Health Care – It’s easy to become lazy with patient satisfaction when you judge your clinic based on the practices in your local area or state. Instead, branch out to the best hospitals and healthcare organizations around the country. Find out which groups are loved by patients and why. Then, adopt similar principles. This is even true of examples outside of healthcare. Don’t be afraid to utilize strategies from the hospitality industry, for example.
- You Get What You Give – Challenge your physicians and office staff to maintain a positive attitude at all times. Focus on the good interactions and experiences, and your patients will do the same.
- Speed Up Your Systems, Not Your Patients – Is your clinic always short on time or trying to crunch in more patients? Speeding your patients through their visits is not the answer. Look at other areas to improve efficiency, such as your documentation, medical billing, coding, etc. And, if needed, consider adding another doctor to spread out visits.
- Interact – Your patients are there not just for healthcare but also the human element. They want to see and talk face-to-face with people who care. Start by always making eye contact and never talking down to them or speaking to another staff member as if the patient isn’t there. Interaction also means putting yourself into their shoes. Ask a patient to explain back to you their understanding of a diagnosis or treatment to see if your physicians are communicating well. Or get a patient to lead you through your clinic on a tour to see how easy it is to navigate.
- Analyze, Outsource, and Automate – Because the patients are your focus, the documentation and other clinical parts required for medical practice management should take less time. To aim for this goal, first analyze where your time is being spent and where it could be tightened. If there is a software to help with scheduling, utilize it. If you can outsource some tasks for a small investment, do so.
As the ICD-10 continues to demand the attention of medical practices across the country, don’t forget to maintain quality patient interaction. In fact, now is a great time to increase patient satisfaction; as your office makes changes, try a few of the above tips. And if you plan to outsource, consider Billing Advantage to maximize billing efficiency and your revenue.