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Improving Patient Experience

December 23, 2019

To: All Providers

Today, consumer expectations are higher than ever, given the convenience they’ve come to expect from companies like Amazon, Instacart, and Uber. When it comes to health care, your patients are looking for similarly efficient personalized experiences.

Customer experience authority Ingrid Lindberg of Chief Customer has outlined three simple principles that drive patient experience:

  • How clearly you communicate
  • How helpful you are
  • How you make people feel

Providing high quality care is essential. But there are some small changes that may help improve how your patients feel about their overall health care experience during a visit to your office.

Communicate with “patience”

For any patient to achieve the best outcome, they need to understand their care plan. You can help by avoiding medical jargon and offering simple written instructions whenever possible. To gauge your patient’s understanding, ask them to explain your instructions back to you.

Be (extra) helpful

Being helpful includes how easy it is to get appointments and how quickly they can be scheduled, and how easy it is to reach someone on the phone. Other factors include whether your office offers extra support, such as scheduling appointments with specialists, or for diagnostic services. Consider outside factors that may be a barrier to your patient getting the care they need. Ask patients if they are struggling to adhere to treatment or medication plans due to side effects, costs, or other concerns.

Help them feel cared for

People remember how you make them feel, and it’s often the little things that stay with them. Consider your office culture and how you manage patient visits. Are patients greeted with a smile? Is your waiting room comfortable and welcoming? During their visit, use the patient’s preferred name (which should be noted in their patient chart), make eye contact, ask questions, and show that you are listening carefully to what they say.

The positive experience shouldn’t end when they leave. Follow up quickly and consistently on test results, and consider offering the opportunity to connect by email or secure text.

Offer support between visits

You can help your patients stay on track by referring them to our care management programs. Care managers can work with you and your patients to help them adhere to your care plan, while reducing some of the burden on your practice. Care management plans are offered for a wide range of conditions, from behavioral health to diabetes to asthma. You can call us at 1-877-878-8785 option 2 for more information.

These concepts can build positive customer experience, and it’s not only good practice, but it can make good financial sense as well.

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