Any healthcare facility, whether it’s a small clinic or hospital, should understand the importance of providing a positive patient experience. Patients are now likely shoppers who are always on the lookout for amazing healthcare services. This only makes sense as insurance premiums and medical costs rise. At the same time, managing a healthcare facility is like running a business. You need people to acquire your services so you can generate profits.
While creating a positive patient experience is a lot of work, its impact on your medical facility and team can be rewarding. For one, it improves the patient and care provider’s engagement, leading to more desirable health outcomes. It also helps boost your reputation in the medical field. Satisfied patients drive word-of-mouth opportunities and higher revenue. Let’s explore how you can improve the quality of care and patient experience in your medical facility.
1. Evaluate care team members
The first step is to assess your entire care team and not just focus on individual providers. Indeed, it’s often the single provider that receives negative scores. However, keep in mind that your reputation primarily relies on your entire care team’s effectiveness and not on a single clinician.
The interaction of patients with your whole care team is what makes up for the overall patient experience. Check whether your physicians and nurses get along. Even the most minor disputes in your care team can strongly impact outcomes and experiences.
2. Send patient care reminders
Sending appointment reminders is an amazing way to improve communication between your patients and care providers. Most patients have hectic schedules that they barely remember their doctor’s appointments or routine hotel visits.
Apart from showing patients that you value their time, appointment reminders are also an intelligent way to minimize no-shows. Numerous patients prefer getting text messages regarding their upcoming hospital appointments or booking the next ones.
To maximize patient care reminders, you can send the confirmation to both text/SMS and email. Or, you can ask your patient which one they prefer more. An appointment confirmation should be sent at least three days before the schedule. If the patient doesn’t respond, send another confirmation the day before the scheduled appointment.
3. Keep the facility equipped
Medical equipment and tools play an essential role in the overall efficiency of your care team and facility. Medical supply carts, for instance, are among the primary equipment needed in hospitals and other care facilities. It provides care workers and nurses with easy access to the medications or care tools they need for their patients.
Carts are also helpful for keeping your entire facility organized and cleaned, as well as maintaining the medications’ safety. Poor healthcare environments can make the patients think that the care they’ll receive is also of a low standard.
Plus, medical supply carts can help optimize specific workflows, allowing your team to provide quality and fast service to patients. Other tools to have are sterilizers, basic diagnostic equipment, height rods and body weight scales, workstations on wheels, and emergency supplies like masks, oxygen, and aspirators.
4. Accommodate walk-ins
Many healthcare facilities nowadays require patients to book their appointments in advance to avoid any hassle. However, most busy individuals prefer walk-in appointments because they have a hard time scheduling booked hospital visits. Their free time often comes unexpectedly.
To accommodate these patients, some healthcare facilities use mobile X-rays and on-site labs. Or, you can welcome walk-ins with at least an hour of notice. Finding ways to offer walk-in appointments can foster positive patient experience and retention. On days your facility cannot accommodate walk-in patients, try to at least recommend some urgent care centers that they can visit.
5. Make patients feel welcomed
It’s impossible to create a positive patient experience if your team doesn’t know how to stay professional and empathetic when providing care. A care team who can gracefully handle long shifts and tense work can help you build a friendly and inviting healthcare environment where patients can feel comfortable.
Ensure you and your team take time to know your patients and their concerns. Avoid rushing them to treatments they don’t even understand. As healthcare providers say, compassion is where the patient experience begins and ends.
Patient experience plays a crucial role in building your healthcare facility’s reputation. If patients had a poor experience in your clinic or hospital, expect they won’t return or recommend you to others. Create a positive and highly-engaged experience using the strategies in this guide, from offering personalized care, higher patient safety, and a more capable medical team.