Patient satisfaction (not just outcomes) is becoming increasingly important for hospitals and health care services. And why not? A hospital, apart from being a life-saving facility, is also a business that needs to focus on the customers’ needs and experience. Hence patient satisfaction should be one of the most basic concerns for healthcare providers. If you run a hospital, you must be prepared to provide your patients with much more than just medical care.
According to the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, a survey of 6195 families showed that collaboration among staff members and courtesy of the care provider are the most prominent factors affecting patient satisfaction levels. A little extra effort to make your patients feel comfortable and valued will bring long-term benefits for you at the end of the day. One kind word from you, a relaxing environment and facilities to ease the patients’ nervousness will make them value your services. It will also increase the likelihood of such patients referring your services to others.
Hence, here are some tips for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to achieve patient satisfaction:
- Adopt flexible medical storage solutions:
The best way to ensure a good patient experience is to improve your work efficiency. If you provide quick services with excellent coordination among staff members, rest assured your patients will develop a positive impression of your work. Consider using mobile medical carts to boost the quality of care for your patients. Not only do such carts provide an efficient storage system, but they also enhance staff performance during surgery and normal appointments. Look for the best storage solution specialists that provide flexible and customized designs. One such option is InnerSpace medical supply carts which can be customized to your specific needs. An efficient storage system will reduce the time spent looking for supplies in storage areas.
- Train your staff:
Your entire staff (not just healthcare professionals) will be in contact with the patient much more than you. From arriving at the hospital to paying the bills and leaving, patients will be approaching your staff for information. Therefore, training your staff should be your top priority as they will be responsible for the patient’s first impression of your services. They must be well-trained in showing courtesy, being responsive, and helping patients to ensure they feel welcomed, comfortable, and valued. Your staff should be willing to provide complete and accurate information, answer every question, and refer the patients to the right person in case they don’t have the required information.
- Conduct Patient satisfaction surveys:
Let your patients know that their opinion is valued. Conduct patient satisfaction surveys through phone calls or emails. Improve your services based on their answers. It will let your patients know you are willing to change your ways according to their needs. Also, these surveys will help you learn more about your staff’s work and abilities. Use this information to find out who needs more training for a patient-centered approach. Pinpoint and appreciate the staff members who are performing well so that others can learn from them.
- Communicate extensively:
With the changing times, thinking patterns have also transformed. One consequence of this phenomenon is the change in patients’ expectations. Modern patients have more advanced needs. They expect to be briefed on every detail regarding their situation. Gone are the times when patients considered doctors their saviors and trusted them without any doubts. Now, patients are not satisfied without complete information. They need to understand their condition adequately. Therefore, you need to communicate with them throughout the process. Before the appointment is finalized, tell them about the risks related to a particular surgery, the side effects of a medicine, or the expected level of pain they might have to experience. Also, inform the patients about the cost of procedures before they sign any paperwork. Be transparent. Giving information about everything beforehand will increase their trust in your credibility. This communication should continue even after the appointment in the form of follow-up sessions. Keep communicating through email and be willing to guide them whenever they need help.
- Provide quality treatment through up-to-date technology:
With the advancement in technology comes advancement in healthcare procedures. The use of technological procedures increases the quality of healthcare. It will reduce the chances of medical errors resulting in more accurate procedures, which in turn will enhance patient safety and make treatments more efficient. You can identify the root cause of your patient’s health issues quickly and more precisely.
Aside from boosting the efficiency of your healthcare procedures, technology can also aid you in satisfying your patients in other ways. If you’re still using the plain old manual ways of appointments and billing procedures, you should consider not wasting so much time and effort on something that technology can do in seconds. Not only does it take more effort from your staff, but patients also face difficulty having to go through all the manual procedures.
Create a digital appointment system to satisfy your patients and save time. Reducing the time spent on paperwork will allow healthcare staff to focus exclusively on the patient, resulting in a positive doctor-patient relationship. It will automatically lead to a satisfactory patient experience.
- Impose proper SOPs in the hospital:
Let’s face it! If your hospital does not have a clean environment, your patients will not think highly of your healthcare services, regardless of how tech-savvy your staff is. Strict imposition of SOPs with regard to maintaining a clean environment is necessary to ensure your patients that their health is an important concern for you. To avoid the spread of infections, regularly use disinfectants on surgical tools. Appoint a staff member to manage hygiene in every part of the hospital. Make sure that bathrooms and waiting rooms are properly cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day. Keep a check on infection control standards in your area and remain in contact with infection control teams to maintain standard hygiene in your hospital.
In short, patient satisfaction increases your chances of patient retention – after all people seldom stop getting ill. The more satisfied your patients feel, the more likely they are to return and refer others to your hospital. A patient-centered approach is the key to escalating patient satisfaction levels. Combined with effective treatment, the comfort they feel during their time at the hospital makes for a satisfactory experience. Following some of the steps given above will ensure that more patients leave your hospital satisfied with your services.