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Success in healthcare no longer consists of just providing quality care — it’s now crucial to also provide high-caliber, efficient service.

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Patient Experience

10 Easy Ideas to Improve Patient Experience

Success in healthcare no longer consists of just providing quality care — it’s now crucial to also provide high-caliber, efficient service to ensure patient satisfaction. From the initial internet search and throughout their entire experience with your healthcare facility, patients need convenience and ease at every step along the journey. It's imperative that this is addressed; studies show 72% of patients would switch healthcare providers if they had an unfavorable patient experience.

At DearDoc, we like to say that if you’re not crafting a patient experience, there likely is no patient experience. Start prioritizing patients' care today for a better retention rate tomorrow - successful healthcare facility depend on satisfied customers.

Here are 10 easy steps your healthcare organization  can take today to improve the patient experience.

1. Establish Credibility through Review Sites

You can make choosing your healthcare system easy for new patients by leveraging your online reputation management. Your review sites - Google My Business, Yelp, WebMD, Vitals, ZocDoc - might be the first point of patient engagement. It is vital that you have updated information and photos to showcase your practice and service offering.

Plus, Google will rank your website higher if you have, not just positive reviews, but also recent reviews. Even if you receive a negative review, responding graciously can be a great opportunity to show that you really care about feedback.

If you want to convert even more patients, you can add DearDoc’s AI Chat to your Google My Business, WebMD, or Vitals listings.

Watch the Webinar Replay: Review Management for Doctors: Improve Your Ratings Within Days

2. Leverage your Website

Your website is like your digital storefront, with the potential to attract new patients if it accurately reflects your practice’s brand. By filling out all necessary information on pages such as About Us and Service, you can provide clarity about what to expect from you — giving prospective patients a reliable first impression of who you are. A strong blog can also make you the thought leader on your given specialty to new and current patients.

Consider adding high-quality photos showcasing both exterior and interior aspects of the practice in order to build an even stronger connection before they visit! Also, don't forget testimonials from current patients; these help instill confidence that others have benefited from working with your healthcare organization.

Watch the Webinar Replay: Website 101: Beginner's Guide to Website Data and Tracking

3. Leverage AI Chat as a Virtual Assistant

Our cutting-edge technology allows our AI Chat to take patient experience and care to a new level while increasing patient interaction. In the healthcare industry, these conversations powered by natural language processing (NLP) are rapidly becoming the standard for enhancing user engagement.

Our AI Chat converts new patients (30+ new patients per month per customer in 2021) while also cutting back on administrative time (over 4.6 million admin minutes saved in 2021). AI Chat allows patients to understand the practice, get their frequently-asked questions answered, and request an appointment.

If you’re a practice that is already overbooked, an AI Chat can still provide a better patient experience while allowing you to triage your potential new patients. By gathering their information, you can only see your highest-value patients if you so please.

Read: 5 Ways AI Chat Can Improve User Experience in Your Medical Practice’s Website

4. Send Reminder and Confirmation of Appointments

Appointments can be easily forgotten or overlooked, and no-shows are costly for practice operations. Assist your patients in staying on top of their scheduled visits by implementing automated appointment confirmations and reminders via text message – the preferred contact method according to 66% of surveyed individuals! Not only does this demonstrate that you value their time, but it's also an effective way for reducing absentees from making appointments.

Ensure patients keep their scheduled appointment times by sending them a confirmation email or SMS/text once they have booked. Send out reminders 3 days, 1 day, and even an hour before the visit to ensure everyone is prepared for the upcoming appointment. You can find this functionality in many EHRs.

5. Offer Online Intake Forms

Make your patient visits more efficient by taking advantage of digital technology! By giving patients the option to view and fill out their intake forms before arriving, you can reduce time-consuming paperwork during appointments. Studies show that over 60% prefer this convenient method - allowing them to complete registration and other necessary documents on their own terms.

View DearDoc’s Online Forms >>

5. Encourage your Staff Members to show their Caring Side

A warm welcome from your care team is key to creating a positive experience for patients. In fact, over half of healthcare users cite it as the most important element apart from quality care! Just think - all it takes are simple gestures such as smiling, saying hello and being friendly during check-in to put your patient in good spirits before their visit even begins.

Read: Easy Steps To Hire The Right Office Admin For Your Practice

6. Ensure the waiting room is clean and comfortable

This should be an easy one. Create a calming atmosphere for your patrons by transforming their wait into an experience of relaxation. Opt for comfortable seating, inviting lighting, and serene music to provide them with the soothing respite they need before their appointment begins. With this tranquil ambiance in place, you can turn what may have been seen as an inconvenience into a break from the bustle of daily life!

7. Keep wait times to a minimum

Ensuring that patients feel respected is essential in a healthcare setting. Communication with your staff is key to allowing for greater transparency and, ultimately, patient satisfaction; 52% of patients prioritize short wait times as their top priority when selecting providers after the clinician being a good listener (67 percent). Be sure to keep these factors in mind so you can create an atmosphere where everybody feels valued.

8. Offer a Virtual Patient Care Option

COVID-19 forced a lot of healthcare providers to offer a telemedicine function, but there are still a lot of providers who are behind the curve. Telemedicine shows the utmost care because you’re telling patients that they don’t have to go through the inconvenience of traveling to your location. They don’t even need to wait in your waiting room. You can see them from their homes. In fact, 64% of households have used telemedicine in the last year. If you're not leveraging telemedicine, you're missing out on new patients.

View DearDoc’s Telemedicine solution >>

10. Request Feedback & Measure Patient Satisfaction

Gathering patient feedback is an essential part of improving the patient experience of your healthcare practice. Patient satisfaction surveys allow you to do an audit of your entire experience. You can identify if wait times are too long, if the quality of care was high, and if the patient feels confident about their wellbeing.

It's critical that you don't shy away from negative reviews; research shows patients appreciate the process when they are contacted directly by healthcare organizations in response. Thoughtful and polite responses build trust and demonstrate how much value you place on every individual’s experience - so take the time to acknowledge those who have left comments, both positive and negative. Ensure that your online interactions comply with HIPAA standards and protect patient privacy. When responding to reviews or comments, avoid disclosing PHI like names, locations, dates of birth or social media handles - this is essential for upholding the confidentiality of all health information!

DearDoc can help. Our Review Generator allows you to request patient feedback after an appointment. Positive feedback will be routed to the review site of your choosing, while negative feedback will be routed back to your practice for follow-up.

More: Top Doctor Review Sites You Should Monitor In 2022

If you need help improving your patient journey, our solutions can help. Get a consultation now.