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Here's why patient satisfaction is so important

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The Team at CallMiner

December 28, 2021

patient satisfaction healthcare
patient satisfaction healthcare

Patient satisfaction is among the most important aspects of modern medical care. However, the tide is turning, and healthcare companies are increasingly working to deliver the best patient experience and care.

From boosting your practice’s retention rates to staving off costly malpractice lawsuits, incorporating a stronger emphasis on improving patient satisfaction into your organization’s future plans can make a major impact. As medical patients increasingly take on a consumer role with their chosen providers, the importance of monitoring and enhancing their satisfaction will only continue to rise.

To achieve true and lasting change with your patients’ satisfaction, you will need to involve all stakeholders across your organization. Your patient-centric approach can produce tangible results in the form of a better reputation and positive word-of-mouth referrals from the very moment you begin implementing it. However, patient satisfaction is capable of creating many more results for your company than you might already have considered.

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What patient satisfaction is and why it matters

Patient satisfaction is both an ideal to aim for and a traceable metric. As an ideal, it centers on providing a sufficiently high level of care quality to ensure patients are fully satisfied throughout each key part of the process. As a metric, patient satisfaction can be measured by way of surveys, acoustical measurement, sentiment analysis and more.

As was mentioned above, higher patient satisfaction produces benefits such as better patient retention – which can help keep your company afloat with less dips in service volume per quarter, but that is certainly not all. Because patient satisfaction parallels customer satisfaction in form and effect, it mirrors its effects on consumer behavior as well. This means your patients can be expected to behave much more like brand advocates and repeat customers than one-off cases.

A number of studies have highlighted the power of patient satisfaction to create repeat business for organizations in the healthcare industry. Patient loyalty, much like customer loyalty, is a powerful phenomenon worth tapping into. Hence, even third-party organizations in the healthcare industry have taken to tracking satisfaction among patients to inform their business decisions.

A few additional reasons you should take a deeper interest in the satisfaction of your patients include:

  • Its ability to highlight not only patients’ general opinion of your organization, but that of your staff as well. A practical example could be a dip in monitored patient satisfaction levels revealing less than optimal workplace conditions for your nurses and practitioners.
  • It can help reveal just how well your patients’ treatments are going and what proportion of their results are positive.
  • Board certification and licensing processes led by organizations such as the American Board of Medical Specialties as well as performance-based compensation systems in the healthcare industry have already begun pushing for the inclusion of patient satisfaction metrics as a means of measuring individual physicians’ track records with their patients.

Patient satisfaction and loyalty

Patient loyalty is a very strong motivator for healthcare companies to take a greater interest in improving satisfaction. When applied across your entire practice, patient satisfaction improving initiatives carry the potential for significant change in the experience of your staff and practitioners. Happier patients often make for happier staff. Certain studies have shown the direct influence of improvements to service quality on patient satisfaction leads to deeper patient trust and significantly stronger loyalty.

Tips to improve patient satisfaction

The very best intentions can bring about misfires in your approach towards improving patient satisfaction within your organization without proper guidance and insight. The following tips can help you fast-track your next patient satisfaction initiative and fine tune your strategies for realizing better patient outcomes over the long term:

  • Take special care to ensure your patients not only receive the treatments they need, when they need them, but also that they feel respected, understood and well informed throughout the process.
  • Take patient interaction cues from the hospitality industry and other service sectors known for their customer-facing operations. Avoid indifference and actively engage with patients to show that they are your top priority.
  • A patient experience immersion initiative can help your staff reacquaint themselves with patients’ perspectives on a regular basis. This can create more positive outcomes for all involved over time.
  • Simply providing more means of interaction and opportunities to connect online can have a profound positive impact on patient satisfaction. Try not to rely on sending and receiving satisfaction surveys as your only way of connecting with your patients beyond the scope of their treatment.
  • Leverage conversation analytics to monitor every interaction across channels to identify areas in which training or coaching are needed, as well as to ensure regulatory compliance. CallMiner help organizations understand the services, policies, and processes patients need and measure emotions in real-time to identify patients who are at-risk, uncover patient trends, and identify top-performing agents to improve training across the organization. Additionally, CallMiner enables organizations to optimize revenue cycle management by providing next-best-action guidance in real-time to agents and identify conversations that should be escalated to a supervisor.

Improving patient satisfaction within any healthcare organization can prove especially worthwhile for both practitioners and those they serve. Adopting any or all of the measures mentioned above can put you on the fast track towards achieving this and more.

Customer Experience Healthcare Industry North America Speech & Conversation Analytics
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