patient experience, patient satisfaction, Provider Onboarding Improving patient satisfaction scores requires healthcare organizations to rethink and redesign service offerings to ensure outcomes align with patients’ needs.  Healthcare organizations claim that the recent effort to tie patient satisfaction scores to Medicare revenue is complex, and may unfairly penalize healthcare organizations operating in low income or emergency only environments. Moreover, patients nowadays are more inclined to research internet sources and form a faulty vision of how they should be treated, which often conflicts with the provider’s treatment plan. Pain management is another area where patients often give providers low scores.  While healthcare organizations are instructed to follow strict drug administration guidelines to combat chronic addiction to pain medication, patient satisfaction surveys measure how well providers manage their pain, thus creating competing priorities for providers.

While the challenges are immense, the following five ideas can help boost your organization’s patient satisfaction scores: 

Listen: 

A bit of cliché, but often a step that can make a big difference. The quickest and most effective way to improve patient satisfaction is to talk to patients and listen to what they have to say

Communicate:

Communicating with patients and involoving them in the course of the treatment will inevitably alleviate stress caused by the ambiguity generally associated with health issues.  Communication is also a way for obtaining feedback, recording incidents, reducing risk, and improving the overall quality of care 

 

Train:

Training sessions are an imperative part of fostering a service culture. Frequent training sessions allow teams to share best practices in areas such as risk management, quality, and problem resolution.  Daily or weekly team meetings can also be used for training purposes- they are a forum to share achievements, build personal relationships, and talk about incidents or patients with specific needs

Measure and Evaluate:

Measuring your organization’s effectiveness is crucial to continuously raising the bar and staying competitive in the market place. Being able to gather data from patients and providers allows executives to allocate resources to the most critical areas. Executives and staff should work together to improve processes and evaluate successes in subsequent surveys    

Focus on the Basics:

Patients are interested in receiving high-quality, quick, and empathetic care. While providing extra amenities would certainly make a positive impression on the patients, forgetting the “basics” would negatively impact the organization’s ability to compete

Healthcare professionals agree that improving patient satisfaction is a top priority.  While some areas, such as pain management, are complex, others can easily be improved to make an immediate difference on the patients’ experience.  As healthcare leaders strive to boost patient satisfaction scores, the aforementioned five areas are crucial to the success of a patient satisfaction initiative.