How Physicians Can Improve Their Patient Experience – Overview
Earlier, it was enough for doctors to provide quality healthcare to establish a successful clinic. Today, the dynamics have changed drastically and doctors and staff need to provide efficient and excellent health care services to attract new patients and retain the existing ones.
Usually, patients try to find a new doctor with a simple Google search before making an appointment.
However, it takes significant efforts to retain patients as studies show that around 72% of patients choose to switch health care providers to get the expected patient-doctor experience. Thus, making the patient experience a priority can help ensure better patient satisfaction and result in higher patient retention too.
Here are our tips on how physicians can improve their patient experience:
1 – Create a Notable Online Presence
A physician’s online presence usually refers to their healthcare clinic’s website and the local directory profiles. This is one of the best ways to make a good impression on prospective patients.
Think of your website as your online address. It serves as a reflection of your overall brand image.
Make sure to put specific services that you offer in your clinic on your website so patients are able to understand what to expect from your practice. Ensure to put consistent information on the different pages that usually make up a website.
You can also add high-resolution images and videos to the website to demonstrate your efficiency and experience. Besides this, you should also add patient testimonials from the existing patients, which helps to establish more trust with the new patients.
2 – Offer Online Appointment Scheduling
You should give your patients the convenience to schedule appointments online through your website. According to studies, around 43% of patients prefer to book online appointments with a doctor. This percentage is increasing every year, thus denoting the importance of online appointment facilities for a healthcare clinic.
Another research shows that 60% of patients prefer to choose online methods, such as browser, email, text or app to book their appointment with a physician while 30% stated that the ability to book an appointment online is one of the major deciding factors when choosing a new doctor.
It is safe to conclude that investing in an online scheduling system for the online clinic will get you significant returns.
3 – Offer Paperwork on the Website
You can reduce the effort required by patients to visit your clinic just to receive their medical documents by allowing this facility on your website. As mentioned, a major portion of patients prefers to use online methods to book appointments. This way, patients can easily fill out any forms without a rush before their appointment.
4 – Front Staff Should be Friendly and Helpful
Providing a better patient experience starts at the reception counter of your practice. A warm, welcoming attitude from the front office staff helps to set the tone when your patient walks in.
Around 50% of patients surveyed stated that welcoming front office staff is an essential aspect they look at before selecting a new doctor. A simple hello with a smile while checking in a patient can go a long way towards establishing trust and making the patient feel more at ease.
5 – Keep Waiting Time as Less as Possible
Having to wait for a while is understandable but patients tend to get flustered when they need to wait for a significant time over their scheduled appointment. If this happens more than once it could have an adverse impact on your patient retention rate.
Around 52% of patients surveyed stated that they prioritize waiting time, along with quality health care, when selecting a new doctor.
As mentioned earlier, communication is extremely essential between doctor and patient. In case you are running behind schedule, make sure that your staff explains the reason to the patient and let them know how long they would have to wait. This transparency is appreciated by patients.
6 – Practice Good Manners
Eventually, patients expect their doctors to give a firm, honest medical opinion. However, patients need to see someone they trust and feel comfortable with. A research study showed that one of the most essential aspects of a positive patient experience is that the doctor should be a good listener.
So, you need to be careful not only when providing a thorough examination, but also to display a warm, positive and caring attitude. This way, the patient will be able to understand their diagnosis and treatment plan even better.
There are several factors that affect the positive patient experience. Make sure to take the necessary steps to create a memorable experience for the patients to ensure optimal patient satisfaction which will lead to a higher patient retention rate and successful healthcare practice.
You should follow these simple steps to establish a reliable and trusted medical practice.