Improving patient satisfaction is often a tricky knot to untie for today’s independent physician practice. Medical offices are battling a harsh economic climate, increased regulatory requirements, and, more common than not, a lack of resources. But making sure your patients are happy may be the single most important factor to staying independent and profitable.
Recent studies have found that most patients have less-than-ideal relationships with their doctor or have significant complaints about their overall experience. Researchers are turning their attentions to closely scrutinize the patient experience—and what it means for healthcare providers.
Here are just a few recent stats on the state of patient satisfaction:
- 50 percent of patients leave their appointment not understanding what they were told, how to take their medication, or why they need to take their medication at all.1
- 85 percent of patients say there was at least one aspect about their doctor’s office that aggravated them.2
- The average waiting room time is more than 20 minutes, which is where 47 percent of patients report feeling the most frustrated.3
- 40 percent of patients would be willing to see another physician if it meant a shorter waiting time, and 20 percent would be willing to pay an extra fee for quicker service.4
- 51 percent say relationships with their doctors could be better.5
But these stats aren’t all doom and gloom. They reveal an opportunity to improve the patient experience in your office as a way to become more attractive and competitive. And the first step is often evaluating your practice management and EHR solutions.
Lackluster EHRs can do more to bog down the patient experience than help It. Without state-of-the-art, intuitive features, private practice staff members can waste time hassling with a system that simply doesn’t meet your office’s needs. If you find that your staff spends more time and attention fighting a broken solution than engaging with patients, it’s definitely time to take a closer look at your current tools.
Robust EHR and practice management solutions include features that help improve the overall patient experience in today’s private practice, from making an appointment to follow-up care. Here are just a few that could boost your patient satisfaction:
Interoperability. Ensure records are securely & quickly sent & received electronically across the continuum of care
Patient portal. Deliver a secure, round-the-clock communication system for providers & patients while also providing online payment options
Cloud server. Access patient records anytime & from anywhere for after-hours calls & faster prescription refills
Robust scheduler. Manage patient appointments & waitlists, which means patients get to see a provider sooner
Front-office tools. Streamline check in & checkout, reducing waiting room times & hassle
1 “Six Ways Patient Satisfaction Could Impact Your Practice Finances.” Physicians Practice. July 11, 2014.
2 “10 Ways Practices can Improve the Patient Experience.” Fierce Practice Management. January 29, 2014.
3 “How to Reduce the Time Your Spent in the Doctor’s Waiting Room.” FOXBusiness. March 19, 2014.
4 “9 Statistics on Wait Times and Patient Satisfaction.” Becker’s Infection Control and Clinical Quality. December 2013.
5 “10 Ways Practices Can Improve the Patient Experience.” Fierce Practice Management. January 29, 2014.
Patient complaints? The smoking gun may be your EHR
Patient satisfaction doesn’t only impact the financial stability of your private practice, it also affects patient healthcare outcomes. Today’s patients want—and expect—their healthcare provider to run an efficient practice.