The patient experience is the total of all the interactions a patient has with your clinic. It encompasses everything from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave. By improving the patient experience, you can make sure that every interaction is positive and satisfying for your patients.
Focusing on creating a memorable patient experience can help to improve their overall satisfaction with your clinic, and it can even encourage them to return in the future. That’s why you must invest in creating a unique and inviting patient experience that will keep them coming back.
The Patient Experience: A Definition
Before you can begin to improve the patient experience, you must first have a full understanding of what it entails. A patient’s experience can be defined by five factors namely, the physical environment or decor, the staffing and the staff attitude, the process, the amenities, and the outcome of the visit.
Thus, a positive patient experience is where all these factors combine to create a positive and memorable experience that your patients want to repeat. Of course, no clinic will be able to please all their patients 100% of the time. But that should never stop you from trying to improve as much as possible.
How to Improve the Patient Experience in Your Clinic
Crafting a positive patient experience in your clinic is not always easy. Patients are constantly bombarded with advertisements, marketing, and claims on how to get the best service. By using these tips, you can create a welcoming patient experience that will make your patients come back for more.
1. Create an Inviting and Unique Environment
First impressions are everything. You have approximately 60 seconds to make a lasting impression on patients when they walk in your clinic door. Even before they check-in at the front desk, you must make them feel welcome and excited to be there.
The overall experience that your patients receive in your clinic starts with the decor. Your space must be clean, inviting, and make people feel comfortable. Your environment must be clean and organized as well. All equipment should be marked, there should be no clutter lying around, and patients should not see any dirty work areas. It’s also important to make sure that the temperature is comfortable for all visitors, especially if you plan on having people sit down in your reception area.
2. Give Your Staff Proper Training
Every patient interaction with your reception staff will end up affecting the overall impression of your clinic. Thus, you must ensure that your reception staff is properly trained. Training your front-line staff includes giving them tools to diffuse angry or upset patients, making sure they know how to deal with difficult situations, and teaching them how to be courteous and respectful at all times.
You must also consider training your staff working in the back. For instance, if you own an orthopedic practice, you must give your surgeons the training they need to interact with patients properly. This goes for those handling your orthopedic billing services too, particularly because patient billing can be a very stressful task for patients.
3. Make Patients Feel Truly Cared For
When it comes to creating a positive patient experience, you have to think about how your staff treats patients. You have to maintain a certain level of professionalism, but you must also show compassion and empathy at all times.
Often, the patient experience is measured by how well your staff treated them. You should create a welcoming environment and allow patients to ask as many questions as they need to. This way, you avoid the possibility of miscommunication or a misunderstanding that would ruin their overall experience.
4. Ensure a Smooth and Painless Process
The process of doing business in your clinic is just as important as the environment you provide. Every step from registration or check-in to the time patients leave your clinic should be efficient. Your reception staff should never make patients feel like they are wasting their time or “just another patient” in the system.
To improve this part of their experience, you must make sure that your registration is efficient and thorough. In addition, you must assure patients can see their physicians as soon as they need to. Your goal should be to have patients in and out within 15-30 minutes to avoid making them feel like they are wasting their time.
5. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
All in all, you want your patients to leave your clinic feeling satisfied. You can accomplish this by delivering excellent customer service every time they visit you. This means your receptionists must greet patients by name whenever they walk in the door, every staff member should act courteous and professional, and everything should be done with a smile.
Also, you should never make patients feel like they are being rushed out the door. Instead, promote open communication and acknowledge that your patients are the reason you have a job.
There are many ways to improve the patient experience in your clinic, but you must take all of them into consideration. By doing so, you can ensure that your patients have a positive experience every time they visit!