Improving Patient Experience in Healthcare
If you’re offering a premium procedure – for instance, LASIK – your patients are going to expect premium treatment.
What’s the best way to improve your patient experience and make your patients feel like VIPs?
What is patient experience?
When a patient enters the healthcare system, they interact with a wide range of professionals and staff. They make appointments with a receptionist or with an online portal. They sit in a waiting room. They page through magazines. All of these aspects make up the patient experience.
Why is patient experience important?
Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most powerful advertising tools, particularly in healthcare. In other words, the success of your practice is in the hands of satisfied patients. By providing them with the best possible patient experience, you increase the likelihood that they’ll recommend your services to friends and family members. You’ll also increase the chances of them bragging about you on social media!
Ways to improve patient experience
Below, we’ve outlined several ways to improve patient experience in your practice.
1. Engage with your patients on their terms
Did you know that millennials don’t like talking on the phone, or that people in Gen X prefer email over text messages? Keep your patients comfortable by communicating with them in their preferred way. Consider asking your patients how they’d like to be contacted, or look into setting up on an online portal for appointments.
Keep in mind that most LASIK patients are millennials. A strong digital presence is a must!
2. Make sure your staff is on board
If a staff member treats a patient poorly, you might quickly find your practice in a negative review, even if the surgery itself went perfectly. Your staff members should be armed with a strong base of training and an understanding of your goals. Don’t let negativity bring your practice down.
3. Invest in the little things
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your patients feel special. We recommend investing in small perks for your waiting room like free Wi-Fi, bottled water, coffee, and tea. A phone-charging station can also make your patients feel at home.
4. Listen to your patients
Try seeing the world from your patient’s eyes. How easy is it to book an appointment? What does it feel like in the waiting room? By conducting regular patient satisfaction surveys, you can find out where you’re succeeding and where you’re falling short. Don’t forget to monitor review websites!
5. Don’t give up!
Once you implement these changes, you might not see results immediately. Don’t panic! It can take time for your efforts to make an impact. Continue treating your patients well, and you’ll feel the benefits soon enough.
Working on your patient experience can set you apart from your competitors, boost word-of-mouth referrals, and generally improve the health of your practice.