Five Ways To Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores In Healthcare

In recent years, patient satisfaction has become a key metric used by healthcare service providers to improve the overall delivery of care. Patient satisfaction scores measure how happy patients are with the service they receive during treatment in and outside a healthcare facility.

When people walk into a clinic/hospital, they are understandably distressed, confused, and in need of instant reprieve. Some patients may have healthcare problems that are easier to deal with, but others may have chronic, often fatal conditions with no cure. Despite the difference in treatment individual patients require, healthcare teams must ensure all patients are equally satisfied with the care they receive.

High satisfaction scores indicate patients are content with the treatment and service they received. On the other hand, low scores can severely tarnish a healthcare service’s reputation. So, management and care providers must take steps to ensure patients are well looked after and treated during their treatment. If you want to improve patient satisfaction scores in your healthcare setting, consider the tips mentioned below.

Implement innovations 

As an industry, healthcare needs to keep evolving to treat newer illnesses and provide patients with better care. Getting on board with the latest, most sophisticated treatment procedures and system improvements can ensure patients are as comfortable as possible in your healthcare facility. 

Professionals need to have the right knowledge to deploy cutting-edge technology in their work. In such cases, advanced healthcare qualifications such as an EMHA (executive master’s in healthcare administration) can equip staff with better administrative know-how and managerial skills to streamline processes. Similarly, clinical staff can also upgrade their credentials via online learning opportunities. Developing a better understanding of medical technology, processes, and information management can revolutionize the workplace and ensure patients receive the best care possible. 

Make appointment booking easier 

One of the biggest issues patients can face even before setting foot in a doctor’s office is booking appointments. Many healthcare facilities can be rigid when it comes to booking appointments and paying for them. Moreover, if your scheduling system has any glitches or shortcomings, the process can be pretty irritating for unfamiliar people. Healthcare practitioners need to focus on this aspect since patient satisfaction scores pertain to patients’ experience in the clinic and outside it. 

When improving appointment booking, allow patients the flexibility to schedule an appointment in whatever manner they prefer. This can be online, in-person, over text message, or email. Moreover, staff needs to allow patients the flexibility to pay via various methods instead of forcing them to adopt what’s most convenient for the facility. Also, ensuring a client representative takes calls all day can help patients receive answers to their queries faster.

Communicate clearly 

By the time patients head to a clinic or hospital, they are already distressed and confused, and they need someone who won’t just heal them but will explain the situation to them. Health anxiety is a common phenomenon, and a simple internet search can give patients the worst possible results. When patients come to healthcare service providers, they want answers communicated in easy-to-understand language and not medical jargon. 

If healthcare professionals fail to address their queries, speak to them in a way patients can’t understand, or leave room for ambiguities, patients are likely to be dissatisfied. Moreover, they’re less likely to trust the facility and its professionals, follow through with treatment protocols and make a full recovery.

So, when addressing concerns and queries, be as clear and direct as possible, and be sure to ask patients whether they understand what you’re saying. If you communicate clearly, clients are likely to be satisfied with the treatments and care even if they or their loved ones cannot fully recover. 

Be empathetic 

When it comes to empathy in the clinic, most healthcare practitioners assume it to be limited to nursing staff or mental health practitioners. However, patients require the same measure of empathy from their doctors as they do from nurses. Healthcare practitioners have a challenging job, and at times this can include delivering very bad news to patients and their families. If you aren’t empathetic and understanding during meetings with patients, patients can have a bad experience, eventually leading to poor patient satisfaction. 

Minor details such as sitting down when delivering bad news can be instrumental in shaping a better relationship with patients and increasing their satisfaction. Moreover, making eye contact, mirroring body posture, and reflecting on the choice of words can have a huge positive impact. These gestures can make patients feel like the staff cares about their issues. Regardless of the outcome, patients are likely to have a higher satisfaction score. 

Ensure cleanliness 

Without proper cleanliness, hospitals and clinics can be breeding grounds for the most dangerous kinds of diseases. With all sorts of bodily fluids and bacteria being so common, patients rightly expect their healthcare providers to do their best to keep the premises and the tools clean. 

Ensuring cleanliness won’t just boost patient satisfaction, but will also protect their health and your staff members’ health. Everything, from the waiting room to the operating theatre, needs to be pristine. Furthermore, all of the tools need to be sanitized and sterilized. In the age of the pandemic, patients have become increasingly aware of hygiene protocols, and failing to follow through can even result in legal implications. Therefore, giving your patients a spotless, clean environment can do wonders for boosting patient satisfaction. 

Conclusion 

As a healthcare service provider, your main focus will always be on ensuring your clients are as satisfied as they can be. Patient satisfaction doesn’t just build a positive image of your facility/practice and the healthcare industry. Rather, it can help promote greater trust, lead to better outcomes, and lead to a healthier society. Implementing these protocols can help you ensure that your patients walk away satisfied each time. 

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