5 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction in Hospitals and Clinics

August 26, 2016   /   byArs Lexis  / Categories :  Economist's View

HealthcareWhen it comes to healthcare, having the best practitioners is not enough to be the best choice for patients. After all, patients are consumers, and therefore, customer satisfaction is just as important as in any other industry. 

How do you make sure that your patients give you a more than passing rating to recommend you to their friends and relatives? You don't need to strive for an American Health Care Association Quality Award to get these tips down pat:

1. Improve communication.

Providing complete information to your patients is very important. However, strive also to be understandable. Always make it a dialogue. Don’t just let your doctors or nurses to babble about the patient’s condition or treatment, all the while throwing in a lot of jargons. Encourage patients or their relatives to ask questions, and verify whether they understand everything.

2. Practice empathy.

Aside from making sure that you are providing information that is complete and easy to understand, avoid being robotic. Healthcare practitioners are often advised to set aside emotions to be able to make a correct judgment. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you should be indifferent. You don’t have to give the patients false hope, but at least try to be empathic.

3. Resolve patient issues immediately.

Don’t wait until your patients lash out on the Internet before you pay attention to their complaints. Micah Solomon, a patient care consultant and author, says that all your employees should be trained to deal with complaints properly. Even if one employee is not the right person for the specific patient’s concern, he or she should direct the patient to the one in charge.

4. Train employees to have the right attitude.

Skills and responsiveness, however, are not just what the patients expect from your providers. Their attitude is very important. Train them to be approachable and to be patient because they will need a lot of it. You have to understand that working in the industry can be stressful, so make sure that your human resource department is also on their toes to provide your employees with all the tools they need to manage stress.

5. Get every employee thinking about purpose, not just functions.

Involve your employees in your decision-making, and remind them of how important their functions are. Remind them how being in this industry is not just a job to perform but also a purpose. Sometimes, your people forget, so make sure you gather them on a regular basis.

If you are managing a hospital or a clinic, know that facilities and performance are not the only indicators of excellence. You also have to pay attention to customer service. To provide top notch service, the key is to have an empowered workforce, so invest in them, especially the patient-facing employees. Organize team buildings and hire professionals to properly train them.