14 Feb Eight Simple Ways to Make Your Patients Happier

Nurturing the patient-practice relationship is an essential part of growing and maintaining your business. A happy patient is a built-in advocate for your practice, as they’re more likely to leave positive reviews online, spread positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and, most importantly, keep coming back.

On the other hand, negative experiences can lead an upset patient to not only warn family and friends against you but also take to social media. It’s important to fully understand what patients are looking for when choosing a doctor and a practice.

We came across an article in Managed Healthcare Executive that provided some helpful tips to keeping your patients happy as you work to keep them healthy. Here’s a brief summary:

Get comfortable talking about money – Discussion of lower-cost treatment options is welcomed by patients.

Listen more – In addition to displaying physical cues that you’re really listening to your patients, ensure you’re listening to your employees as well.  The benefits trickle down to all throughout the practice.

Focus on cultural competency – This goes to ensuring broad and appropriate training for your front desk staff who are the front line of customer service in your practice.

Get smart – Consider leveraging tools your patients enjoy using – their smart phones – to make things such as check in and bill paying simpler.

Upgrade technology – Implement a patient first approach to billing.  This makes it simpler for your patients to pay, which only benefits your bottom line.

Be empathetic – Health is personal.  Clinicians should work to meet patients where they are in their healthcare journey and try to walk in their shoes.

Make phones friendly – Turning phones off during the lunch hour is not customer friendly.  Try to have staff available to answer the phone (if your staffing can support it), and that staff have solid customer service training for ensuring positive interactions on the phone.

Focus on the waiting room – While a patient is in your waiting room, they’re forming a critical first impression of your practice.  Focus on making this experience better, improving the environment, and reducing appointment wait times.

Be sure to check out our post on facilitating change in your practice, if you decide to put some of these tips into action.

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