How To Improve Patient Experience | 9 Tips To Maximize the Patient Experience
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
Are you interested in improving the patient experience at your practice?
In this video, I share with you 9 things I do at every patient encounter to maximize the overall experience and satisfaction.
Patients seeking healthcare have a lot of options to choose from. Personally, I pride myself on providing every patient with a comfortable, happy, and enjoyable patient experience.
It’s absolutely critical in growing your practice and making sure patients leave your office satisfied and confident in the care you provide.
Here are 9 tips on how to improve the patient experience at your practice.
1) Smile when you greet your patients
Smile at the beginning of every patient encounter. It’s the best possible way to start any patient interaction and will leave the patient feeling good beyond their visit.
RELATED: How To Be More Grateful in Life
2) Pronounce your patient’s name correctly
Always make sure you’re pronouncing the patient's name correctly. To ensure this, confirm with the patient that you’re saying their name correctly and document the correct pronunciation in their chart.
The last thing you want to do is go throughout the entire exam process and repeatedly say somebody's name wrong.
Pronouncing somebody's name correctly, particularly somebody whose name is a bit more challenging, builds trust and faith in your ability to care for them.
3) Check in with your patients
I like to check in with my patients and see how life's treating them.
After I introduce myself, I’ll ask open-ended questions such as:
“How’s life treating you?”
“How was your weekend…(holiday)…(seasons)?”
Some patients will say very little and move straight into the reason for their visit. Other patients will want to talk to you about anything and everything going on in their life.
Providing patient care is an art. A lot of people are sitting in front of screens all day and rarely communicate face to face with others. Therefore, being there for them and giving them a few minutes to talk about what's on their mind is a great way to approach every patient encounter.
4) Complement your patients
Be kind to your patients and provide them compliments or congratulations when necessary.
Of course, every time you're with a patient you want to make sure you're kind to them. However, let's say that they walk into the room and they're extra bubbly. Feed off their energy and complement their positive attitude or general demeanor.
If you have a personal relationship with a patient, talk to them about things you know happening in their life. People love to share positive things going on in their life on social media so congratulate them on anything good that they’ve publicly shared with the world.
5) If the patient appears to be in a bad mood, be extra kind
When a patient walks into your exam room and you can tell they're in a bad mood or they just don't want to be there, be extra kind. That patient may have a lot going on in their life including trauma or excess bagging holding them down.
In these circumstances, be extra kind to the patient. If you can't get through the exam, do your best and move forward in your work day. Don't let the patient drag you down because you have more people to take care of and care for.
RELATED: How To Deal With Difficult People
6) Ask patients how they spend their time
I always like to ask patients “What do you do on a day-to-day basis?” and “How do you spend your time?”
If they’re working, I love to ask them about their job.
If they’re a parent, ask them about the kids.
If they’re retired, ask them about their retirement adventures.
Learning how your patient spends their time is a great way to learn more about them and how you can best care for them.
7) Ask patients about their hobbies
I love to ask my patients about their hobbies and what do they like to do for fun.
I have discovered there are so many hobbies out there I never even knew existed by just talking to people and learning what they enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis. Plus, people love to talk about things they enjoy, leaving them with a positive impression of their visit.
8) Answer all patient questions
Make sure that you’re addressing the patient’s chief complaint. Clearly, that's the reason for their visit. However, I like to also make sure that I address any additional questions they have throughout the exam process.
At the very beginning, I like to ask, “What brings you in to see me” or “How can I serve your eye health and vision needs?” Both questions open up the door for the ability to take care of the patient.
At the end of the exam, as I'm recapping the visit, I say, “What questions do you have for me today?” In doing so, the patient has to make a decision. Either they don’t have any additional questions or they remember something that was on their mind that they’d like addressed. It keeps the conversation open with an open-ended question so you can best provide care to the patient.
9) Provide patients with additional resources
I like to provide patients with additional resources when necessary.
We all know our patients are on the internet. They Google their symptoms trying to find answers and a solution to their problem.
As providers, why not provide patients with the ability to follow up with content that is a resource and it can link out to other resources that you sign off on?
For example, in our office, I have our dry eye patients scan a QR code that takes them to our dry eye checklist. It allows them to learn more about the condition or ways that they can best manage it over time. It also talks about additional services that we provide and is a great way to continue the conversation had in the exam room through something that you vetted and signed off on.
I highly recommend that you create content for your patients to review at home so that they can use those as resources after their examination.
Maximizing the patient experience is a great way to grow a patient base and generate referrals. Plus, it keeps existing patients happy with your care and eager to come back in the future.
What questions do you have about improving the patient experience? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next video where we can reflect and grow stronger together.
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