Manage a Healthcare Business? Why Patient Experience Should Always Be Your First Priority
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While successful entrepreneurs and owners of medical businesses may offer their professional services in many specialties, they all share one thing: a commitment for providing superior patient experiences ,. Many successful medical business owners and entrepreneurs consider patient satisfaction a win-win situation. It is the key ingredient to turning their medical clinics and practices into great ones. Following are four reasons why experienced healthcare professionals put enhancing the client experience at the top of the list of key performance indicators and directly linked to their organization’s financial success:
1. Satisfied patients are informed patients
Patients will leave with your instructions for care, regardless of whether they are coming in for a facelift or a knee replacement, laser treatment, or any other procedure.
Spend time thoroughly educating patients and/or caregivers about after-care instructions and pain control, because how well these directions are followed can have a real effect on the end result and the patient’s comfort level. Failure to follow instructions can lead to further injury or infection. If there are many steps, take the time to explain the procedure verbally. Not rushing through this information or delegating it to support staff is another way of showing you care about your patient’s health and comfort.
2. Satisfied patients are safer patients
Let patients know that you will be asking them questions about the healing process and encourage them to report any problems immediately. This helps patients to understand that they are your ally in managing care. It also gives them a greater sense of control and awareness, which makes it more likely that they will follow all prescribed after-care procedures, including proper use of painkillers and other medication.
After a procedure, consider giving patients your contact information so they can text or call when they have questions or concerns. A contact number that is available after hours is better than one that goes directly to voicemail or an address linked to an outgoing-only mail box. Offering access to you is particularly impressive, because most people respect and recognize the value of your personal time and realize this is highly unusual. Thus, you likely won’t get many texts or calls at odd hours, yet you will gain a great deal of patient satisfaction and confidence by demonstrating the degree to which you are truly invested in your patients’ wellbeing. And if you do get a text or call — you may find your earlier intervention could prevent a minor issue from becoming a major problem. Your operation’s perceived safety and quality will increase significantly if you go above and beyond to make the patient’s experience better.
3. Satisfied patients value streamlined service
Your dedication to providing patients with the best possible care and personal attention can be passed on to the rest the office staff. Lead by example, and you will inspire your entire team to follow suit. A culture of excellence in the workplace fosters productivity and quality, and creates a positive and joyful environment that reduces turnover and absenteeism. It is possible to reduce the chance of making mistakes by adhering to best practices.
Great technology is an extension to your great service. Keep patients happy with the tools that they have come to expect. Online secure portals allow busy patients to do everything quickly and easily 24/7 — from scheduling and confirming virtual or in-person appointments to messaging their doctor, paying bills, viewing lab results and chart history, requesting forms and immunization records, and more. Patients are increasingly looking for more service, such as prompt inbound calls and callbacks.
4. Satisfied patients share their story
Satisfied patients reduce the likelihood of lawsuits when they feel cared for and when their realistic expectations have been both described and understood. Patients will be less likely to sue you or file malpractice lawsuits if they feel cared for and understood. Patients who are happy with their procedure and receive the support they need are a talking advertisement. They’ll take to social media to share their experience with family and friends and will often leave testimonials about the unique quality of your high-tech yet high-touch services on your website and/or a third-party review site. Such reviews can spread like wildfire, resulting in the best kind of referrals — personal ones. This phenomenon, which is more likely due to the interconnection between client networks based upon who they “follow” or “like”, can make your professional services really visible.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.