If you ask your patient about their experience, they’ll comment about several other factors in addition to your services. Improving on these factors is necessary for a practice to be successful as it enhances patient experience. What are those factors? Read our article on how to improve patient experience for some insights on the same.
Don’t Keep Your Patients Waiting For Too Long
As much as possible, try minimizing wait times. Patients understand if it’s for a little while, but having them wait for long periods is bound to get them frustrated. You don’t want this affecting their experience with your practice. Therefore, first and foremost, be punctual. If you’re running late, instruct your staff to convey the estimated time you’ll arrive at your clinic. Communication is key! They’ll appreciate the transparency and know that you respect their time.
Effective patient scheduling is essential to a good patient experience. Make sure you follow the schedule of confirmed appointments for the day and try to avoid overbooking. Patients sometimes take a day off from work just to schedule an appointment. Overbooking leads to longer waiting times, sometimes even going beyond the scheduled appointment. This not only wastes the patient’s time but also sets your schedule back for the entire day, affecting all your other patients. Ensure you’ve got a good appointment scheduling process in place to reduce no-shows and improve patient experience.
Ensure Your Property Is Clean
When patients enter your waiting room, they need to see the area spick and span. A clean environment will put them at ease, which will make them feel welcome and cared for. Check that your curtains, furniture, and cushions are dusted regularly. The paperwork at the front desk should be organized, and if your clinic has a washroom, pay attention to changing towels and soaps, and fixing leaky faucets. More importantly, keep sanitizing the waiting room and washrooms. This is essential to infection prevention and control.
All these details might seem small, but they do contribute to the overall experience of the patient. It’s not just about how well you treat them, it’s about how you make them feel as well.
Looking after all these things by yourself is a humongous task. Hence, employ someone to come beforehand and do the cleaning. Make sure that you use quality cleaning products and quality cleaners. Plus, it’s better to advise your staff on the importance of these things as well so that everyone is on the same page.
Take Time With Your Patients
Instead of diving straight into diagnosing your patients, make them feel a bit comfortable first. Engage in a bit of small talk: ask them how their day is, or about anything that interests them. Doing this will establish a better sense of trust, in turn enabling the patient to share critical information freely. This will also help in prescribing accurate medication to treat your patient’s ailment, which is a win-win situation for both of you. This sort of conversation is essential when communicating with pediatric patients in particular. It can also help to make immunizations easier for everyone involved.
Small talk is beneficial, but being empathic is equally important. Patients really need to explain what they feel and by having an emphatic approach, you’re making them feel valuable. This will enhance patient experience and improve the quality of care you provide.
Make Sure Your Office Staff Is Friendly And Helpful
Patients will first encounter the front office desk before meeting you. And the tone your staff presents determines whether the patients feel welcomed or not. In addition to having a clean property, the manner in which your staff present themselves to your patients also contributes to patient experience. Anyone would like to be greeted with a warm, friendly smile, or a polite “hi.” Therefore, instruct your staff to do that. Your patients should not feel they’re being a burden or just another appointment number in the registry.
Filing forms during check-in may seem a task too easy, but for some, it’s just a strenuous affair. Here is where your staff comes to the rescue and lends a helping hand. By providing that extra warmth to your patient’s experience, it makes them want to revisit or even refer potential patients to your practice. If a physically disabled person needs help in climbing stairs, or if someone needs to be wheelchaired up the ramp, your staff being alert to these things will have fruitful rewards in the end.
Provide An Online Portal For Patients To Book or Cancel Appointments
If we have a system to book movie seats and concert tickets online, then why not medical appointments? By having a system to book or cancel appointments online, you’re easing the load of making calls with something that can be done with a click. Plus, you patients will have a glance at all the available dates and timings which they can avail themselves of at their convenience.
The best method is by setting up a website and having all your information (contact details, appointment details, etc) stored in one place. Also, you could have a text-based service so that booking can be done via message. If you’re the tech-savvy type to use gadgets and apps, the ImmunifyMe app is perfect for you. It has an easy appointment management system that is sure to help.
Easy Mode Of Payments
Not many patients will want to pay via cash due to numerous reasons. Hence, many practitioners have adopted cashless transactions since they’re more secure and convenient. You can have POS (point of sale) machines for those who prefer paying through their debit/credit cards. Or the best and fastest mode of payment is via UPI apps (Google Pay, Apple Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, etc). Just with a tap, patients can pay their bills in a few seconds. If your practice solely relies on cash, try adding these modes as well. It’ll enhance your patient’s experience, and can help with your medical billing process.
We hope you’ve learned some practical tips on how to improve patient experience. Remember that patient satisfaction and experience are key to a successful medical practice. Therefore, you should always strive to be better, and approach things differently if they’re not working out. After all, being a good doctor is an ongoing process! For our readers who are pediatricians, check out our ImmunifyMe app. You can access your patient’s health records, store payments in our e-wallet, and also schedule physical and virtual appointments. Our app not only improves patient experience but also elevates your experience as well.
FAQs on How To Improve Patient Experience
How Do You Improve Patient Experience?
These are a few of the many steps you can follow to improve patient experience:
- Don’t make them wait for too long. Respect the patient’s time
- Ensure your property is neat and tidy
- Engage in small talk before diagnosing
- Instruct your staff to be friendly and helpful
- Set up an online portal for booking or canceling appointments
- Adopt easy mode of payments
Why Should We Improve Patient Experience?
Patients should feel better about their ailment after they’ve used our services. That is our main aim as doctors. Once we fulfill that, there is a higher chance of establishing loyalty, and garnering referrals to potential patients from that loyal base. Hence, patient experience shouldn’t be ignored and must always be improved.
How Do You Collect Payments From Patients?
You can collect payments either through cash, or cashless modes such as credit/debit cards, mobile payments (UPI apps). The latter is more efficient and secure.