How to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

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In recent years, patient satisfaction scores have become a big talking point across the healthcare industry. You’re under pressure to not only deliver the best healthcare outcomes for patients, but also ensure they’re satisfied at every point of the patient experience.

If you want to improve your scores and don’t know where to start, here are three initial areas to focus on.

1. Communicate Better With Patients

Communication is one of the most prominent factors that affect patient satisfaction, so taking steps to improve it can have a major impact on your scores. There are many communication points during a patient's experience with you, and therefore plenty of opportunities to improve how your practice engages with them.

For example, you can:

  • Be more transparent around waiting times – Long waits are another big factor that influences patient satisfaction. If delays occur due to an emergency or appointments overrunning, you can mitigate the frustration that patients feel by providing regular updates on when they can expect to be seen.

  • Improve staff communication skills – Every little interaction between staff and patients can have a big impact on patient satisfaction. Greeting patients with a smile, reassuring them when they appear anxious, explaining difficult concepts in clear language – these things can all go a long way to making the patient experience better.

  • Send regular SMS updates – Educational health advice, reminders for vaccinations, and details on how to prepare for upcoming appointments are just some of the ways SMS messages can encourage patients to engage more with their healthcare.

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2. Use Technology to Improve the Patient Experience

Digital technology can transform your services to be faster, flexible, and more accessible. Here are three examples of the solutions available and how they improve satisfaction:

Self-check-in software

Are long wait times affecting your patient satisfaction scores? Use kiosks equipped with self-check-in software to help ease waiting room congestion and speed things up. This software allows you to set parameters that make the check-in process smooth and simple, such as quick ‘frequent flyer’ style check-ins for patients with regular appointments.

Digital signage

This can be a great tool to support the communication improvements we mentioned earlier. Digital signage allows you to clearly display everything from healthcare campaign messages to waiting time updates.

Online appointment booking software

Patients expect convenient services that fit around their lives. Online appointment booking software gives them the flexibility to request appointments and repeat prescriptions at any time, wherever they are.

3. Gather and Analyse Feedback With Patient Satisfaction Surveys

While there are some common factors that influence patient satisfaction, it can be highly subjective. The issues that affect patient satisfaction might be very different from one hospital or practice to the next.

To make the best-informed decisions around how to improve your scores, you need to see your healthcare services from your patients’ perspective. And this is where patient satisfaction surveys can help.

Feedback gathered from regular patient satisfaction surveys will quickly reveal where a hospital or practice could be doing better. For instance, you might discover that some patients find your check-in process to be too slow. This indicates that streamlining the process with a self-check-in system may be an effective way to improve satisfaction scores.

An online patient survey tool will also allow you to analyse responses over time and identify if changes to your service are improving patient satisfaction scores.

Get to the Heart of Patient Satisfaction

The reputation of your organisation rests in the hands of your patients. Knowing how to improve your services to give them the best experience is critical.

Key areas such as wait times and communication challenges are good starting points. But to really get to the heart of what your patients think and feel, you need feedback. And the most effective way to get it is through patient satisfaction surveys. Then you’ll know which factors are affecting scores – and you can focus on finding the right solutions to improve them.

How to craft the perfect patient satisfaction survey

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