The more your practice finds new ways to engage its patients, keep them informed, and keep them interested in their personal health, the more likely your practice is to reach its goals. When your patients are unhappy with their care, it has less and less to do with the actual treatment they receive from their provider, and more to do with the tools for interaction that are in place. Your patients are more motivated to connect with their medical care when there are simple and usable tools and resources in place for them.
When your patients are unhappy with their care, it has less and less to do with the actual treatment they receive from their provider, and more to do with the tools for interaction that are in place. Your patients are more motivated to connect with their medical care when there are simple and usable tools and resources at their disposal.
What Patient Satisfaction Tools are your Patients Searching for?
1) Simplified Payment Methods and Options
This includes payment plans and billing options that encourage and enable your patients to make frequent and on-time payments. Providers need to consider offering payment plan options for their patients who feel their medical expenses are unmanageable. These payments may need to be smaller than providers are used to seeing in order to increase patient satisfaction. Patients also need access to make their payment in a way and at a time that is most convenient for them. If a patient remembers that they need to pay their bill in the middle of the night, they should be able to pay by credit card on their patient portal through an integrated payment portal.
2) Accessible Communication Tools
For quite a while, patients have expressed that they feel more inclined to ask more simple medical questions and address concerns when they have available online communication. When the patient portal made online communication an option, providers saw their levels of patient satisfaction start to increase as more and more patients were willing to communicate this way. This should also include improved communication when it comes to scheduling. Providers should offer online scheduling as well as text/email/and phone reminder. Access to communication tools like the patient portal are vital to increasing patient satisfaction.
3) Available Information
Another important tool and accessibility that help to increase patient satisfaction is whether or not their personal health information is readily available. In the past, patients were increasingly frustrated if they were denied access to their personal medical files or when it tools a long time for them to receive them. In 2019, the entirety of a patient’s chart should be available to them via an EHR patient portal. Increased access to information helps patients few test results, labs, and areas of their health that need improvement, first hand.
Why Patient Satisfaction is Important:
1) Patient Retention
In the long run, improving patient satisfaction is essential to retaining your patient base. Your patients will start to leave if they find your small practice lacks what they are looking for. They will go searching for a provider that offers tools that make keeping up with their care easier.
2) Positive Online Reputation
Many patients in younger generations go online and check reviews before they purchase anything or go anywhere. This includes looking into the patient satisfaction of others when looking for a physician. Your practice should be aware of where they stand online and work to retain a positive online reputation as well as an in-person one. This is incredibly important to your patient satisfaction rates as millennials become working adults.
3) Impact on Bottom Line
By maintaining higher levels of patient satisfaction and patient engagement, you patients are more likely to accomplish a few different revenue-impacting tasks. First off, when your patient is more satisfied with their care, they are more likely to make payments. While that is a self-explanatory task, the other way patient satisfaction impacts your bottom line is the fact that your patients are also more likely to complete more billable visits and services. There are developments in follow-up care, billable tests/labs, and telehealth care when patients are more engaged.
4) Better Health Outcomes
Lastly, when a patient is more involved and satisfied with their care overall, they achieve better health outcomes. This is due to the fact that higher levels of communication, more regular visits and follow up care, and an increased willingness to engage with one’s provider leads to more issues being addressed, more regularly completed tests, and the upper hand over one’s personal health. Patient satisfaction has a direct impact on the number of good outcomes your practice reports.
To learn more about how to increase patient satisfaction at your practice, click here.