The Best Ways To Improve The Patient Experience
Grow Your Practice By Improving The Patient Experience
Successful practices know that the patient experience is not just an important focus, it is THE main focus. That stellar patient experience starts and ends with your team. As you focus on improving the patient experience, there are a number of things to think about. We recommend starting with one or two tactics and then build on from there.
Top Tactics For Improving The Patient Experience:
- The Power Of A Name. Using someone’s name is a simple thing, but is actually a really BIG thing. By using someone’s name in a sentence, you validate their worth and let them know that you care about who they are.
- Remember Details. Remembering details about a patient and then recollecting those details at later visits will blow your patients minds! For example, if you have a patient who loves fly fishing, you can ask them if they’ve been on any recent fishing trips. By doing so, you signal to the patient that you care about them, and not just the fact that they are filling an appointment slot.
- Body Language. Pay attention to your body language to see if you are closing people off, or welcoming them into interaction with you. Crossed arms, indirect eye contact, and turned away shoulders are all signs that you don’t care about engaging with the patient. Conversely, direct eye contact and body positioning to the patient tell your patient that you care about them. Especially for dental and medical teams, remember that often positions that patients have to be in for exams is not comfortable. Go the extra step, literally, and move to look at your patient, instead of down from behind.
- Active Listening. Active listening, instead of passive listening, means that you are directly engaged with what the patient is saying. Repeat back the patient’s questions or confirmations that you have heard what they are saying. For example, if a patient is telling you about their family trip to Alaska, you could respond with a phrase that starts off with “While you were in Alaska, did you see…” or ask the patient about the most memorable part of their trip to Alaska.
- Speak in short, simple sentences…and then shut up. Speak clearly to your patients when you are explaining procedures and then allow the patient to process the information you gave them. Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence. You risk bringing up concerns the patient didn’t have originally, or overcomplicating the explanation by rambling on and on.
- Do What You Say You’re Going To Do. It’s simple really, but this is often the biggest reason that patients are disappointed. If you say that you will do something, simply do it.
- Cultivate Positivity. A positive attitude can go a long way in improving the patient experience. If you and your team are committed to excellence and positivity, your patient experience will improve now and continue to improve over time.
Every practice can benefit from taking a few minutes to look at their own patient experience. Whether you have a little to work on, or a lot to work on, it is worth taking the time to improve the patient experience. A little effort to improve your patient satisfaction could be the key to growing and improving your practice!
Other Resources For Improving The Patient Experience: