5 Ways to improve the patient experience

Everyday, healthcare providers around the country strive to provide the best possible patient experience. In this competitive day and age, it’s vital to keep your patients satisfied with your services to prevent them from leaving your care and seeking a different option. But it can be difficult to find new, budget-friendly ways to achieve this. Here are 5 simple ways in which you can improve your patients’ experience:

Let them know you value their time

Most days, the majority of people feel like they have a million things to do, and your patients are probably not an exception to this rule. When we feel overwhelmed by our daily tasks, the last thing we want to do is have to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment only to discover that no one picks up the phone, and they have to spend a long time trying to schedule an appointment. Another common complaint from patients is that very often, they arrive on time for their appointment only to find that the doctor is running behind schedule and they have to wait for much longer than anticipated. You can save them this hassle by working with a virtual answering service, which will supply remote operators that will be able to take appointments at any time of the day, and help you keep an efficient schedule to show your patients that you value their time.

Keep your waiting lists short

It can be very stressful for patients to schedule an appointment and realize that they have to wait many months until that day. In some cases, this could result in patients leaving your care to work with other doctors. And even though completely eliminating waiting lists can be practically impossible, keeping a more efficient schedule can definitely help. Make sure you maximize the work you do during your office hours each day by updating your schedule regularly, and you will quickly realize that patient waiting lists become shorter as a direct result.

Communicate with them in their own language

In many communities, you will often encounter a significant percentage of bilingual or non-English speaking patients everyday. These patients may feel a lot of anxiety when they have to communicate with a healthcare provider, and they will probably feel a lot more comfortable if they can communicate with someone on your team that speaks their language. In addition to hiring bilingual members of staff to serve as interpreters in these circumstances, you can go the extra mile by hiring a bilingual virtual answering service. Bilingual operators will be able to take appointments, provide information, and answer inquiries over the phone to help your ESL patients feel secure and satisfied with your care.

Send out reminders when necessary

Let’s be honest: we have all forgotten about an appointment or two at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a dentist appointment, or a lunch date, our hectic schedules make it difficult to stay on top of everything all the time. That is why sending out automated reminders can be a very thoughtful addition to your service, and it can benefit your practice and your patients simultaneously. Automated reminders can be delivered to patients to remind them of their upcoming appointment, but also to let them know that their lab results are ready, or that they need to pick up the prescription glasses they ordered recently. These reminders can be customized so they fit your patients’ needs; at the same time, they will help you keep an efficient workflow so your practice runs smoothly.

Stay available 24/7

It may make you nervous to read that your office should be available to patients 24/7, but before you get anxious, let us explain – thanks to modern technology, staying available 24/7 doesn’t mean that you need to be personally picking up phone calls around the clock. Any business can benefit from 24/7 attention, but in healthcare, this is practically an obligation. When you work caring for other people’s health, it’s important to let them know that you will always do your best by them and keep their wellbeing as your top priority. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need time for yourself. Healthcare workers, just like any other type of profession, need to be able to rest and relax at the end of the day. So, how are you supposed to balance these two requirements in order to keep both your patients and yourself happy? A virtual answering service makes it possible for you to keep an open line of communication with your patients 24/7, even after you have gone to bed for the day. 
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