Topics: Practice Management
Of course you’re providing the best care for your patients, but are there metaphorical pain points at your medical practice that you might not know about?
Implementing patient satisfaction surveys can open this conversation up between your patients and your medical practice, resulting in stronger dialogue and better rapport to serve your community even better.
- What Is Patient Satisfaction?
- Why Is Patient Feedback Important?
- How to Request Patient Reviews
- How Patient Satisfaction Surveys Can Boost Your Medical Practice
What Is Patient Satisfaction?
Patient satisfaction is defined as a measure of the extent to which a patient is content with the health care they received from their health care provider, both inside and out of the medical practice.
Essentially, it’s about knowing how happy or unhappy your patients are in relation to your medical practice. This information can then be used to make changes in the medical practice, both internally and externally.
Why Is Patient Feedback Important?
Your medical practice is wholly reliant on having patients, both new and returning. Without measuring the impact of your medical practice on these members of your community, you could be aiming for disaster. Gathering and truly internalizing patient feedback to implement new measures in your practice is important for your success because it demonstrates to your community that you value their insight and are there to best serve them.
One essential point to note here is that patient feedback should entail more than just the direct visit with the provider at your practice; be intentional about gaining feedback from your patients about the quality of your office, how easy it is to schedule appointments, patient education resources, and more.
Acquiring this comprehensive feedback will be critical for the enduring success of your medical practice. After all, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has found that over 80% of practices regularly use patient satisfaction surveys to measure, evaluate, and improve their operations.
This is especially important in the age of healthcare consumerism, where patients act like savvy consumers. Nowadays, they tend to conduct a good amount of research on their own to find the best care options that fit their budget and unique needs. Not surprisingly, they also look for positive reviews and testimonials associated with healthcare facilities.
How to Request Patient Reviews
Asking your patients for reviews might feel awkward or as if you’re asking them to do you a favor. While you somewhat are asking for a favor, the patients who value your services in the community will be more than happy to give a few minutes of their time to benefit your practice.
When you bring up the conversation, consider the following:
Inquire About Their Experience With Your Practice
For 87% of physicians, interacting with and helping patients is the most rewarding portion of their profession; it’s probably why they got into the field of helping people!
Requesting patient reviews about specific providers and your overall medical practice can give you real-time feedback and strengthen your patient relationships. At the end of the patient’s visit to your medical practice, try asking questions like, “Did you have any problems scheduling your appointment today?” or “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
If the feedback is positive, ask them to share their experience with others by writing a review. Take note of any constructive criticism and use it to improve the patient experience at your practice.
Address the Key Three Areas
The most important areas to cover with your survey are the “key three,” which include quality, access, and interpersonal concerns. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to ask about more than just the direct patient-provider encounter when you give patient feedback surveys.
Be sure to ask open-ended questions that allow patients to highlight good experiences or provide suggestions for improvement in other areas. Such examples might be to ask about the ease of parking at the office, how simple it was to find your medical practice, how clean the waiting room was, etc.
Remind Yourself That Writing Reviews Is Commonplace
When consumers are asked to leave a review, 72% follow through and do so. Chances are, your patients frequently leave reviews for other businesses, so they’ll be happy to write one for your medical practice.
To gain a better understanding of how simple the review-writing process is, try writing reviews for a few of your favorite businesses. After all, people—including potential clients doing research on the medical practices in your area—put a lot of stock in online reviews, so as long as you’re confident in the care you’re providing, don’t think twice about requesting genuine feedback. Chances are that your patients will happily oblige!
Keep the Formatting Simple
Deliver your survey in the means most likely to get patients to complete it; if your clientele isn’t the most virtually inclined, stick with pen and paper and a dropbox for submission. Or, include a QR code linking to the survey if your patients are ready to go on their smartphone!
Don’t worry about making your survey look snazzy or overly complicated—just stick to the questions and let the feedback come in easy.
How Patient Satisfaction Surveys Can Boost Your Medical Practice
The knowledge of your patient’s opinions of their experience in your office is invaluable. It is, in many ways, just as important to the success of the practice as a correct treatment plan is to manage a chronic condition. When patient satisfaction surveys are implemented with the goal of genuine improvement, your patients can be a wealth of information for better serving them!
As such, it’s in your best interest to truly incorporate patient feedback into your medical practice. See if you can identify new goals and objectives from your survey results—e.g., aim for 10% improvement in a given area by this time next year—and hold yourself accountable for following up.
Plus, the shaping of your medical practice’s online reputation is occurring whether you’re actively managing it or not. Just as any other first impression, your prospective patients make snap judgments about your practice based on the first things they see when they search the web, which includes patient reviews!
NCG Can Help Implement Patient Satisfaction Feedback!
At NCG Medical, we’ve been helping healthcare practices devote more attention to patients for four decades by handling all the ins and outs of the medical billing process. Our customized solutions can improve revenue management cycles and ensure that your practice is realizing the full value of the services it provides.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can transform your medical practice management.