Improve Patient Experience at Your Practice with These Tips

There are few businesses that are as challenging to run as a medical practice. You’re not just providing service to customers but to patients. They have different expectations and require a level of empathy and understanding that you may not need to consider with other types of businesses. The patient experience is hugely important to the success of your medical office. You need to build up a good reputation, which is difficult to do if you’re not providing the kind of experience that your patients expect. Working on improving your patient experience should be a top priority as you grow your practice.

Work on Waiting Times

One of the first things that your patients are going to notice is how long they’re waiting and if they face any delays. They may be understanding that sometimes delays are inevitable, but they also value their time and want you to value it too. Making improvements in waiting times can be one of the best ways to make a significantly positive change to your patient experience.

Reducing waiting times isn’t necessarily an easy or quick process. You will need to look at operational activity and patient flow to determine any factors that could be causing delays. Are appointments regularly running over their allotted time? Are there delays in finding essential equipment or preparing rooms for appointments? Identifying the issues that could be causing longer waiting times will allow you to address them effectively.

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Create a Welcoming Environment

Another of the first impressions your patients will get is what your office looks like. They will be looking around at the condition of the building, as well as taking in the decor. Your patients want to experience a welcoming environment that puts them at ease. That means you need to ensure your office is clean and well-maintained, while also preventing it from looking too cold and clinical. Getting the balance right can sometimes be tricky, especially as you need to maintain health and hygiene. One thing you might choose to do is focus on creating a welcoming waiting room, helping your patients to relax before their appointments.

Get the Right Management Support

Enlisting management services organizations can help you to guarantee your practice has the support that it needs to operate efficiently. A well-run practice delivers a better patient experience, keeping things moving and providing the best care for patients. When you’re choosing MSOs, consider looking at those that specialize in your practice area. Choosing a rheumatology practice management solution for your private rheumatology practice is a great way to receive a reliable service from people who are experts in your specialism. These services can help with important departments that contribute to the patient experience, such as billing and accounts receivable.

Focus on Compassionate Communication

Being able to communicate with patients using compassion and empathy is key to any successful medical practice. And yet it is still something that can get lost among other priorities when trying to provide an efficient service. Fortunately, there are many things that staff can do to ensure they approach patients in an empathetic way. Even small things such as making sure to say hello and ask patients how they are can go a long way to providing a more compassionate service. Making sure that staff introduce themselves and explain their role, as well as take the time to answer questions and acknowledge concerns, is crucial.

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Use Technology to Enhance Services

Technology is being used more and more to enhance the patient experience. Many patients now expect certain options to be available, facilitated by technology, such as the ability to schedule an appointment online. Technology can be used in a variety of ways to create a better and more convenient patient experience in your practice. From telemedicine to touchscreen check-in, wearable monitoring devices, and online appointment and records management, you can offer your patients a range of services and conveniences. However, it is important to consider which types of technology will be most useful and help to enhance the patient experience most. There’s no point in wasting money on tech that ultimately won’t be that useful.

Provide Opportunities for Feedback

Patients want to be able to have their say, which is why it’s important to give them opportunities to provide feedback. This can be done in several different ways so that patients don’t have just one chance to deliver feedback but multiple. You might send them a quick patient satisfaction survey after they have had an appointment, which could just be a single question asking them to rate their experience out of 5 or 10. You could provide an anonymous feedback box or touch screen in your waiting room. Of course, it’s also important to have an official complaints process to deal with any potential problems.

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Offer Patients Choice

Visiting a medical practice can make many people feel a certain loss of control. It can be frightening to face a health issue that they have no choice but to deal with. One of the ways you might consider improving the patient experience is by offering a greater level of choice and control to your patients. Even small ways for patients to make their own choices can matter. For example, if you offer them tea and coffee in the waiting room, giving them several options for their beverages and allowing them to decide how to make them can make a difference. Involving patients in their own care is obviously important too.

Cut Back on Paperwork

No one likes filling out endless forms. Your patients are likely to get frustrated if they have to fill out multiple intake forms or other paperwork. While it’s important to get essential details and be thorough with patient data, you can also try to reduce the amount of paperwork your patients have to do. Make sure they don’t have to keep providing the same information to different people. After they’ve offered it once, store it securely so that it can be referenced when necessary.

Working on patient experience is crucial if you want your medical practice to deliver the best service and build a stellar reputation.

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