Business performance and overall success are closely linked to customer satisfaction in any industry, and the healthcare sector is no exception. When it comes to patient retention, the overall experience is what keeps most people loyal to their healthcare service provider. Here are some ideas on how to improve the patient experience in your healthcare practice, ensuring a high level of quality that drives not only satisfaction and retention, but also your bottom line.
Stay Focused on Interpersonal Relations
Patient loyalty relies on trust and the establishment of strong, long-lasting relationships with their providers. These relationships should be fostered and cared for just like the patients themselves. Here's how to put an emphasis on building and developing positive relationships with your patients:
- Train all staff members, from the front desk to physicians, on the importance of customer-service skills in building better patient relationships.
- Maintain the attitude that the customer experience begins at scheduling and carries through all the way to follow-up care.
- Encourage your staff to remember patient names when possible, and to always treat them as they would wish to be treated.
- Underscore the belief that a caring, nurturing environment in every aspect of service will strengthen and reinforce patient relations.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
More and more, consumers rely on technology to expand and improve the ways in which they interact with organizations of all types. Likewise, technology can be a powerful tool for improving retention and fortifying your relationship with your patients. Try these tips to help integrate technology into your practice's overall patient experience:
- Send email updates to patients to keep them up-to-date on news about your practice, holiday closings, and special events such as fundraisers and more.
- Communicate with patients via text message or email to confirm appointments, follow up on service and to ask for feedback related to their visit.
- Consider loyalty programs (these can also be used to reduce no-shows) and referrals for new patients.
- Invite patients to complete an online survey to analyze customer satisfaction and determine areas that may need improvement.
Maintain a Clean and Comfortable Environment
Don't underestimate the importance of a clean, safe and healthy environment in influencing overall patient satisfaction. A sanitary facility encourages safety and patient confidence, while a clean setting also helps your patients feel comfortable regardless of the level of treatment they receive. Here are some keys to maintaining cleanliness for better patient retention:
- Keep a clean and professional appearance throughout your facility, including entryways, waiting rooms and examination rooms.
- Follow industry best practices and regulations published by organizations like OSHA, the CDC and others.
- Follow strict protocols for preventing infections before they spread.
- Create a checklist that helps monitor and enforce regular cleaning practices in your facility.
As experts in patient-centered cleaning services for the healthcare industry, ServiceMaster Clean® understands the importance of putting patient satisfaction first. Contact us today to learn how our customizable, industry-leading approach can help you improve patient experiences in your facility while boosting patient retention and bottom-line results for your business.