One technique = dramatic increase in patient satisfaction
by Susan Keane Baker
You can dramatically increase your patient satisfaction scores by finding out what’s important to your patient.
People value experiences in which their unique preferences are identified and respected. That’s the key driver of patient loyalty. The value of learning patient preferences is that when you honor what’s most important to a patient, you create a bit of a halo for yourself. If Mrs. Dearing most values a clinician washing his or her hands upon entering the room, when that’s accomplished, she’s much more likely to give you a pass on any subsequent flaws in the visit.
So how do you find out what those unique preferences are?
You can simply ask “What’s most important to you in your relationship with your healthcare team?”
Or at the end of a visit, “What could we be doing to make visiting us a nicer experience for you?”
Or you could create a form using these three sentences:
- I’ve been a patient before and______________________________________
- Something that impressed me was ______________________________
- This time I’m concerned about _________________________________
- I’d also like you to know ______________________________________
Honor the preference:
Respect can mean honoring – such as addressing a patient by her last name, or making a follow-up call a few days after a treatment. But what can you do when you can’t honor the patient’s preference?
Acknowledge the preference:
Respect can also be acknowledging the preference. “Mr. Doria, I know you prefer early morning appointments, but there are none available for four weeks and Dr. Brunetti wants to see you sooner than that. Can you adjust your schedule to come in on the afternoon of May 12th or May 13th?”