The most critical aspect of the healthcare industry is ensuring patient satisfaction. But why does it matter in the first place? Well, let’s find out.
To begin with, patient satisfaction relies upon the quality of care provided and the treatment received. Patients expect a high level of care and commitment from health providers; at the same time, healthcare professionals also focus on enhancing the patient experience.
From a business point of view, patient satisfaction matters for several reasons. Today, the competitive environment has pushed every healthcare facility to make sure that patients choose them above others for medical treatments. Moreover, patient satisfaction also gives medical practitioners an upper hand in demanding higher prices, according to a study published in the Patient Satisfaction Journal.
When it comes to healthcare, word of mouth is the most potent marketing channel. So, when you provide care to your current patients, they will likely discuss it with their friends or relatives. That way, a particular healthcare provider or facility will be on the top of their recommendation list.
As per numerous studies, patient satisfaction does influence treatment outcomes. That means patients are more likely to experience better clinical outcomes when they trust their care provider. As a result, meeting patient expectations improves satisfaction.
While we have discussed the importance of patient satisfaction, the next step is focusing on increasing patient satisfaction. Advanced times call for leveraging as much technology as possible. For instance, including the latest MRI diagnostics to keep MRI machines working at their optimum levels can contribute to patient satisfaction.
Furthermore, leveraging technology also reduces errors and facilitates a patient-centered approach. Some other ways to ensure quality care are mentioned below.
One way to ensure that the healthcare industry operates smoothly is through documentation. A part of improving the documentation process is ensuring that healthcare providers jot down every critical piece of information. Besides, every healthcare facility member must have a proper communication channel to avoid skipping details.
Documentation is time-consuming, leading to incomplete or a massive pile of work. As a result, errors and inconsistencies are common occurrences that disrupt a well-balanced healthcare system. Healthcare facilities must focus on incorporating innovative solutions like speech recognition to make documenting easier.
Medical professionals with a cloud-based speech recognition system can navigate the EMR through various routes like voice shortcuts and automatic shorthand substitutions.
Above everything, the most crucial aspect of keeping documentation updated is by educating the team. Ensure that every healthcare facility member is on the same page when communicating every minute detail. Resolving issues like miscommunication and confusion must be addressed during staff education.
2. Streamline the Appointment process
Many healthcare facilities shy away from paying attention to the minor details critical to regulating the infrastructure. Often, one of the forgotten details is optimizing and streamlining the appointment process. An efficient patient scheduling system in place improves the patient experience as well as healthcare access.
One of the primary reasons clinical or hospital workflows disrupt is a lack of an appropriate patient scheduling system. Leveraging technology for patient scheduling is much more convenient for them. The interface is easy to use and aligns patients with a healthcare provider suitable to their needs.
As per data, 52% of healthcare practice is spent a prolonged period confirming patient scheduling and returning emails or phone calls. As a result, other critical tasks are neglected. Regardless of the measures in place, patient cancellations or no-shows are inevitable. However, to decrease the ratio, healthcare facilities can implement a waitlist for patients needing an earlier appointment.
A broadcast text message ensures notifying the patients of the available slots allowing them to confirm their appointment without hassles.
3. Enhancing patient discharge procedure
When it comes to improving patient satisfaction, it’s all about paying attention to the smallest details. So the one aspect medical facilities must focus on is enhancing the patient discharge procedure.
Despite being straightforward, there are several factors to consider. A well-planned discharge process ensures the patients and their families are prepared for the next step in recovery. Discharging an unstable patient, incomplete assessment, and lack of information or time regarding a patient’s release are some examples of unsafe discharge procedures.
Healthcare providers must find an appropriate post-acute care setting for patients. A process that becomes more efficient by analyzing the patient data with the help of an algorithm to determine if they require post-acute care
4. Work on Patient Feedback
Patient feedback is critical because it offers organizations an opportunity to address patient concerns and work on improving care quality.
Ensure that patients have no difficulty in giving feedback. Feedback channels must be simple and designed to cater to the patient’s needs. Using software that links to electronic health simplifies the feedback process and reduces errors.
Sometimes, in addition to innovative solutions, using traditional methods also promises results. For instance, in a study published in Harvard business review, face-to-face interactions are more successful than emails. So when asked about experience in person, patients are more likely to interact with interest.
Similarly, when getting patient feedback, healthcare facilities must consider all the possibilities to engage with patients, whether through hospitals or social media. The key to improving patient response and care is making the feedback process as flexible as possible, even if it means encouraging the staff to inform about patient experiences practically or verbally.
5. Focus on Patient Education
Patients feel valued when they leave a hospital or clinic with more health-related information than before arriving. Patient education is a critical aspect of ensuring quality care. A successful patient outcome depends on the medical practitioner’s support and instructions.
So, how can you ensure patient education success?
With the evolution of technology, patient education has become much easier than it was a few years ago. Depending on the patient’s cultural background and understanding, educational resources can be customized.
Other than that, establishing a rapport and answering every query also fosters communication and long-term relationship that contribute to the organization’s success. Furthermore, consider involving the patient’s family in healthcare management to retain patients. That way, instructions will be followed, and a facility will gain loyalty.
There are numerous reasons why patient satisfaction must be a top priority for every medical facility. The most apparent reason is loyalty, which happens to be a solid investment in the medical facility’s future. Additionally, increased patient satisfaction leads to better marketability.
Streamlining the appointment process, working on patient feedback, and enhancing patient discharge procedures are a few ways to ensure that patients are satisfied with their visit to the care facility.