The key to success for any hospital or medical office is not only to attract new patients, but also to retain them. In the past, simply providing quality medical care was enough to keep waiting rooms filled with patients, but today things are different. \
Today’s patients expect more from medical facilities. They want greater convenience, easier access, and more comfortable waiting rooms. They want a better overall patient experience. In this post, you’ll learn some creative ways to improve patient satisfaction by improving the patient experience.
What is Patient Experience?
The first thing you need to know is that patient satisfaction is different than patient experience, despite both terms often being used interchangeably.
Patient satisfaction is determined about whether a patient’s expectations were met. Patient experience, on the other hand, is determined by whether something that should happen in a health care facility actually happened. An example of this would be whether the staff communicated clearly enough with the patient.
For this reason, improving the patient experience is essential if you want to increase your patient satisfaction.
How to Improve Patient Experience In Healthcare
Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of work to improve patient experience in healthcare. All it takes is some creativity and a commitment to providing the best experience possible. Here are eight ways to improve patient experience in hospitals and other medical facilities.
#1: Offer a Patient-Friendly Online Experience
More patients than ever use the web to schedule or change appointments, communicate with their treatment team, order refills, access test results, and more. So, building an online presence for your healthcare facility is a must if it doesn’t already have one. Make it easy for your patients to schedule appointments and have the required pre-appointment paperwork available online, so they can complete it before arriving for their appointment.
#2: Send Appointment Reminders and Confirmations
Your patients live busy lives, so it can be easy for an upcoming appointment to be forgotten. This is especially the case when the appointment was scheduled months in advance. By sending automatic appointment reminders to patient email addresses or via text, you can make sure they are reminded of their appointments. Providing them with convenient confirmation options also helps ensure your patients get the treatment they need, and your office doesn’t suffer financially from missed appointments.
#3: Ensure Your Staff is Friendly and Supportive to Every Patient
A good patient experience starts with how they are treated by your staff. As such, it is essential for every staff member to be friendly and supportive to every patient that walks through your doors. The incredible thing is that it doesn’t take a lot. A smile, a welcoming hello, and simply being friendly is all it takes to start a patient’s experience off on the right foot.
#4: Have an Excellent Bedside Manner
A healthcare professional’s most important asset, besides their education, is their bedside manner. This is what makes a patient feel comfortable and secure with their doctor. And it plays a major role in whether a patient returns to that doctor. Focus on not only providing your patients with thorough examinations, but also on displaying a warm, caring, and friendly presence. Make sure your patient never feels rushed and that they fully understand their treatment plan before walking out of the room.
#5: Keep the Waiting Room Clean and Comfortable
Any visit to a doctor’s office or hospital can be stressful. So, you want to give your patients an environment that soothes their anxieties. Instead of the usual hard furniture and harsh lighting that’s found in so many old-fashioned waiting rooms, update your waiting space with more comfortable furniture and warm lighting. And keep the space clean and tidy to help create a more relaxed and organized space.
#6: Be Courteous of Your Patients’ Time
Nothing reduces a patient’s satisfaction like the feeling that their time is being wasted. And long wait times do exactly that. Try to keep wait times as short as possible without sacrificing quality of care. It’s a tough balancing act to master, but once you do, you will greatly improve your patient’s experience and their satisfaction. And they will be more likely to return knowing that you and your staff value their time.
#7: Provide Complimentary Mobile Device Charging Stations
During a visit to the hospital, having the ability to charge your phone while you’re sitting in a waiting room is not only convenient, but it’s also essential for ensuring that you can stay in touch with loved ones outside the facility. Providing access to free mobile charging stations is something that every patient, visitor, and member of your staff will appreciate.
#8: Provide Resources to Reduce the Patient’s Perceived Dwell Time
Sometimes, long wait times can be unavoidable. But one thing that you can do to help take your patient’s mind off the time is to provide them with strategically placed LCD screens broadcasting a variety of entertaining and informative content. By placing digital screens in your waiting room, cafeteria, lobby, and other waiting spaces, you provide your patients with alternative options when they grow tired of looking at their phones or need a break from the book that they’re reading.
Innovare Medical Media specializes in creating custom LCD screens for hospitals and other medical offices and facilities. We can provide your facility with free branded displays, free LCD screens for broadcasting entertaining and informative content as well as strategic ads for revenue-generating opportunities, and free mobile device charging stations which will help your patients stay in touch with loved ones. To learn more about our custom LCD screens, call us today at 866-887-2207 or click here to send us a message online.