A few decades ago, offering good care to patients was enough to ensure success for most healthcare practices. Unfortunately, today, doctors need to provide efficient service and high-quality customer care. This will help them retain current customers and attract new ones.
On the path to patient retention, instilling trust is long and complex. Most patients start their search for a reputable doctor online. However, their experience with your practice continues until after they walk out of the door.
For this reason, it’s key to streamline every step of the way to boost the patient experience. Prioritizing your patients is the best way to boost patient satisfaction. It’ll also help you attract more clients while still retaining your existing ones.
Below are several healthcare best practices that’ll help you improve the patient experience.
Have an Online Presence
Today’s patients start by looking online for the best doctors in their local area. Creating an online presence is the best way to connect with potential clients. It’ll also make a good first impression on them.
You can do this by creating a website and social media pages for your healthcare practice. The website will serve as the online point of contact between you and potential clients. It also showcases your overall brand to your clients, helping them understand what to expect from their visit.
Always ensure that you upload consistently and post clear content. Your posts should educate your clients about certain conditions you handle.
Ensure you also post high-quality images of your office and include your logo. Remember to include a webpage where your clients can post testimonials and reviews.
Include Online Scheduling
Online scheduling is one of the best healthcare solutions that improve the patient experience. It gives your patients the convenience and liberty to book their appointments without having to call your office. According to a report, over 68% of patients prefer working with a practice that offers online scheduling.
Based on the same study, 47% of healthcare consumers stated that they would prefer online scheduling. Online scheduling also includes the ability to change or cancel an appointment without calling the doctor. Including online scheduling will help increase your customer satisfaction rate.
Always Send Clients Appointment Reminders and Confirmations
Healthcare users are quite busy with work, school, and errands. Sending them appointment reminders and confirmation messages is the best way to communicate with them. Automated reminders will help you reduce the risk of expensive cancellations.
You can send the appointment confirmation details via text or email after the appointment has been booked. You can then send the appointment reminder a few days before the appointment for final confirmation.
Remember to send two or more reminders if the client doesn’t confirm. This will help you reduce cancellations and no-show appointments.
Automate the Paperwork Process
Instead of giving your patients the tiresome task of filing the paperwork in the waiting room, it’s advisable to automate the process. Upload the paperwork on your website and have your clients fill the online forms and come with printed forms during their visit.
Automation allows patients to fill out paperwork at their convenience. This will save you the time late patients take to fill out the physical forms that eat into their appointment time. It’ll also help your patient avoid filling out the form last minute and forgetting important details.
Train Your Front Office Employees to Be Extra Friendly
Improving patient experience could mean taking a small step like greeting the patients with a smile when they walk through the door. The warm, welcoming, and heartfelt attitude will make your patients feel adored.
A modest gesture such as being friendly, smiling, and saying a warm hello could go a long way to make check-in and the appointment enjoyable. Most people are often nervous when seeing a doctor, so being friendly will help them relax.
Another important thing to consider is your support team’s answering service. Ensure your medical answering service is accessible to patients and your team knows how to be empathetic to your patients.
Keep the Waiting Room Clean and Comfortable
Purchase comfortable seats and a simple coffee table. Add warm and beautiful lighting for your waiting room to create a welcoming space. You can also play some relaxing music to calm down your patients’ nerves as they wait for their turn.
A clean and cozy waiting room will help your patients feel relaxed, unwinding from their hectic daily lives. It should also be their restful and comforting place to take a small break.
Always Minimize the Waiting Time
Reducing patient waiting time will go a long way to improving the patient experience for your practice. Patients have day jobs while others are parents or students with a lot of responsibilities. Long wait times for their appointments may make your patients feel like you don’t respect their time and schedule.
Over 84% of individuals believe that wait time is essential for the patient’s general experience at the doctor’s. In fact, one out of every five individuals has swapped doctors because of long waiting times.
Always remember to communicate with your clients if you’re running late. Clear up how long the patients will wait and give them a reason why you’re running late.
You don’t have to go into details. Most clients understand and will appreciate honesty and transparency.
Are You Ready to Improve the Patient Experience?
Multiple factors contribute to an improved patient experience. Some of these include honest communication, reduced wait time, and friendly service. Your patient’s healthcare experience should be your number one priority.
A good experience will contribute to the overall satisfaction rate of your patients. This will result in an increased patient attraction and retention rate.
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