Understanding the factors that drive patient satisfaction

Two new surveys conducted by or on behalf of West have revealed that patient satisfaction ratings can have a significant impact on the long-term financial stability of a hospital or practice. If your ratings are low or just okay, it may be time to take steps to understand what drives patient satisfaction.

Here are the top 3 things patients say that physicians can do to improve their experience and keep them coming back.

Shorten wait times

Half of the patients surveyed said that shorter wait times would increase their rating of the provider they saw. While this may not be completely feasible, there are other ways to make sure your patients aren’t sitting around for hours in the waiting room. Consider utilizing a system that would allow you or your staff to notify patients when you’re running behind. Additionally, you could survey patients after their appointment to get feedback on their wait time and use that information to set new goals.

Provide cost information in advance

If your patient is asked to pay a copay but isn’t prepared, that can set the tone for the whole appointment. When sending pre-appointment reminders, be sure to inform your patients of what they’ll owe upfront and what their insurance may not cover so they can better anticipate the costs associated with their care. With 49% of surveyed patients saying that knowing cost upfront would improve their satisfaction, it’s a great area to focus your efforts on.

Unhurried appointments

In a time where physicians are often compensated based on production, it’s easier to lose sight of the big picture. Letting patients know they’re valued and giving them plenty of time to ask any questions they may have is a great way to improve satisfaction and keep them coming back.

In addition, patients said that physician expertise, information about services offered, easy appointment scheduling, improved communication, friendly staff, and modern facilities all contributed to higher satisfaction ratings.