Achieving and Measuring Patient Satisfaction

July 8, 2014
William Balfour
Paula Knowlton, Client Relations Manager

Paula Knowlton, Client Relations Manager

First Earn their Satisfaction with Compassion

Did you know that by reducing the anxiety your patients feel when they enter your facility helps in their perception of their visit? Reducing anxiety makes patients feel like they are being treated by people who truly care about them. By asking a patient when they enter your facility if they need assistance in getting to where they need to go and then walking them to the desired department can make a big difference in how your patients see you as a healthcare provider. Making sure your patients know where they are in line to see the provider reduces their anxiety of waiting.

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting and fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion . . . Always tell a patient, and tell him beforehand, when you are going out and when you will be back, whether it is for a day, an hour or ten minutes.” (Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not [New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1946] p. 38.)

When you look at how your patients are cared for keep the Correlation of Patient Care and Evaluation graph in mind. A competent employee is what we all expect to have when we seek healthcare. Courtesy goes a long ways in patient’s perception of whether the provider truly cares about why the patient is there to see them. And, above all, showing compassion will earn you loyal patients every time.

Then Measure Their Satisfaction

Wouldn’t you like to know how your patients felt about their visit to your facility? The truth is not every patient will fill out that survey they receive in the mail. You only have the ability to see how your patients perceive you for about 1/3 of the visits. Does this paint a picture accurate enough for you to see where you are doing well and where you are falling down?

Here are some best practices for improving survey response rates and survey responses:

  • Providing scripting and training for every employee in your facility as everyone is responsible for patient loyalty.
  • Send a letter from your CEO with the discharge information thanking them for choosing your facility for their healthcare needs and reminding them they will receive a survey from _________ (vendor) and you would appreciate them taking the time to let you know how their visit went.
  • Use the Studer Group AIDET (acknowledge, introduce, duration, explanation, and thank you) practices.
  • Never point a patient in the direction they need to go, always walk them to their destination.
  • Live and breathe your hospital’s mission, vision and values.
  • Offer updates on timeliness
  • Make people feel welcome and comfortable
  • Don’t forget that each story of kindness and compassion may be told many times over
  • Don’t underestimate the power of your smile!
  • And, always publicly celebrate successes.

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