The cost to acquire a new patient-consumer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. Creating the necessary level of loyalty for patients to remain with your organization rests largely on how satisfied they are with their overall experience. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) provides one of the most generally accepted set of patient experience measures. Developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the HCAHPS surveys patients between two days and six weeks of discharge asking for their feedback.
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), a program from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provides a variety of surveys including ones to measure patient satisfaction with providers and health plans.
Indicators of satisfaction with clinician and physician groups include:
Getting timely appointments, care, and information
Level of communication with patients
Provider’s use of information to coordinate care
Helpfulness, courtesy, and respectfulness of staff
Best practices for Improving satisfaction
Efforts to improve patient satisfaction involve the entire organization, and often, the key to better satisfaction is simply improving the “blocking and tackling” basics of patient interaction. Several ways include:
Focus on your front-line people
The people that first interact with your patients can set the tone for their care experience. Putting your best foot forward every times, can have a great impact on reputation and patient loyalty.
Stay on schedule
Delays beyond a scheduled appointment time is one of the most frequent complaints from patients. See patients on time and you can expect much higher satisfaction scores.
Helping your patients clearly understand what to expect from your practice can go a long way toward keeping them satisfied. Communicate often and well; let them know the process for things like sharing test results, scheduling follow-up visits, and reordering prescriptions. Ensure there is an open effective channel for patient inquiries too.
Improve your scheduling system
Make it easy for your patients to schedule appointments and implement a system for confirming and reminding them of the days and times when they should be coming in. This not only improves the patient experience, but it will lead to better patient outcomes as well.
Listen and act
The best way to improve patient satisfaction is to find out what they want and provide it. Beyond simply paying attention to the concerns your patients express, extending empathy at each point of care can greatly improve their experience and engender trust.
Envera Health understands the importance of patient satisfaction for the continuity of our healthcare partners’ organizations. That’s why, unlike a traditional call center, we build dedicated pods of Patient Access Coordinators (PACs) that are trained to serve as an extension of your team, not only understanding the practical nuances of your practice but also adopting your goals and values— for a seamless patient experience.