Building your business around patient experience is the first step in creating a successful practice. The foundation of your process should be structured around your patients’ needs. As a result, you should be constantly working to improve your patient experience. You should regularly evaluate the various steps in your patient flow to ensure patient satisfaction.
Start with your practice
When last have you taken a really good look at your practice? For offices that are established, this can easily go overlooked for a long time. Do you need to make some updates? If so, how extensive do they need to be? To answer that, you first need to ask, does your office look and feel engaging?
Patients will judge your practice before they event meet you. As they walk through the front doors they make a decision. What kind of ambiance are you trying to create? Clean isn’t always relaxing, relaxing isn’t always efficient, and so forth. However, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. So can a deep cleaning. So the next time you walk through your front door, take a minute to stop and evaluate. Keeping this area updated should require more than new magazines.
Improve communication at every step of the patient experience
Don’t start with the moment they walk in the door. Patient communication starts before that. They start with making the appointment, getting a reminder about the appointment, and so forth. Your front desk is the patient’s first contact with your office. As such, you should have clear expectations for your staff.
Appointment reminders can also be one of the unnecessary uses of staff time. Especially when there are great programs like appointmentreminders.com which you can use to set automated appointment reminders. Increasing the tools and resources for your staff will also increase your patient experience.
Be the one that is different
Many patients complain about the time they wait to see a physician. Regardless of the appointment or how early they arrive, they wait. They wait in the waiting room, then in the patient room, then usually they wait to check out. Be the office that’s different. Commit to timeliness. Require your staff to be promote in answering phone calls, checking in patients and checking them out. Also require them to be diligent in returning phone calls in a timely manner.
Most practice management systems can track patients through the system beginning at check-in. It is important your staff understand this feature and use it consistently. It is a great tool and provides reports that measure performance in work flow and also helps identify any hiccups that keep patients waiting unnecessarily. It’s an opportunity for everyone to improve patient service and patient flow.
You can manage if you measure. Take the time to understand and improve your patient experience on a regular basis. Use appointment reminders to decrease no-shows by as much as 80%. Use third party analytics to track patient process to search for hiccups or opportunities for improvement. Follow this guide and you’ll be on your way to running a very successful office.