In today’s competitive healthcare environment, patient experience is now more important than ever. Practices who can effectively create an exceptional patient experience consistently, while delivering high quality care will not only stay competitive; they will keep their patients happy, returning and more actively referring.
Reality Marketing has compiled some ways to help your practice to create an exceptional patient experience:
1. Create a positive culture
As Richard Branson claims “Clients do not come first. Employees come first”.
If you can take care of your employees, they will take care of your patients. Every member of your team plays a critical role in the success of your business which is why it is so important to focus on developing and maintaining a positive culture within your practice.
2. Assess and refine all your touch points
Every time your patient makes contact with your practice is critical, which is why it is important to evaluate your patient journey. This involves exploring all of the touch points or interactions your patient has with you and the practice. Find out what’s working well and what’s not and adjust improve the overall experience for your patients.
3. Know your patient and what they value
Understand your patient and what they consider to be important and integrate this into your patient journey.
4. Make it easy
Today most people are very busy, and they want things like booking an appointment with their health care professional to be easy, speed and simplicity being key. It sounds obvious but make sure that it is super easy for your patients to book an appointment and to check in with you etc, this can make or break their experience and in turn result in them returning and referring or not.
5. Be responsive
With majority of people being online and having access 24/7, response rate expectation has increased. It is therefore important to respond quickly to your patients.
If you can also be an empathetic and active listener and try to provide solutions for them, you will more likely position yourself as a 5- star rated practice.
Connecting with your patients regularly on a personal level is crucial for growing a business that will retain their loyalty. Regular engagement and meaningful relationships are key ingredients for maintaining an exceptional experience.
7. Seek real feedback
One of the common mistakes made by a practice is to make assumptions regarding how their patients feel and what they want. Why not actually ask them? Develop and utilise surveys to help you to do this, online surveys are great as they are quick, easy and cost effective to set up and monitor.
Bonus tip- Remember to communicate any improvements you have made to your patients too.
8. Show you genuinely care
Demonstrating that you value and care for your patients as people first is an important step in the process.
9. Small things count
Little things like having a clean bathroom, parking access, birthday messages, water available, free WIFI can all make a huge difference to a patient. They may seem small, but they may be what that patient considers a ‘wow factor’ and a reason to recommend your practice to their friends or make a positive online review.
10. Continual improvement
Remember that creating and maintaining an exceptional patient experience is an ongoing process. Your patients’ needs and wants will evolve and you need to be able to respond and accommodate accordingly.
Achieving and maintaining an exceptional patient experience and being able to deliver it consistently is essential for keeping ahead of your competitors and growing the practice.
So, dedicate time and resources to this process and your practice will in turn reap the rewards for your efforts and commitment.
By Leonie Arnebark
CEO Reality Marketing