Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have a lot on their plates. It is not easy working with patients all day. There is a lot of stress involved, and it can take a toll on their body. Sometimes they forget patient satisfaction amidst all these tedious tasks. However, ensuring your patients are happy with the care you provide is vitally important for your practice. Patients pleased with their treatment are more likely to return, refer others, and tell their friends about you. Unfortunately, not all patients receive the same services and care level. The good news is that you can do many things to keep your patients happy. This guide focuses on various no-cost and low-cost ways that will make your patients happy.
- Educate them about health and wellness
Patients want their doctors to pay attention to them personally and receive high-quality care. That includes educating patients about their health and wellness concerns to be proactive in healthcare.
It is not just the doctors who should educate patients about healthy lifestyles. Nurses who have attended FNP Master’s Programs can also educate patients about health and wellness. The interdisciplinary team at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) improves patient care through its Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program. On the plus side, this nursing program meets IOM recommendations, giving nurses a role in education and allowing them to help patients learn more about health and wellness. The IOM recommendations provide guidelines for health care providers to use in developing systems that integrate clinical preventive services into ongoing medical practice. With all this easy help and education from doctors and nurses, patients will surely have healthy relationships with their healthcare providers, leading to a feeling of overall satisfaction and happiness.
- Send them a follow-up message
There are hundreds of ways to communicate with your patients and show them how much you care about them. The best way is to send them a follow-up message after every visit to make sure they are happy and allow them to voice their concerns if they have any. It will also help to remind them of your services if they have forgotten about you in the meantime and may even prompt them to book an appointment.
- Empathize with the patient
The primary goal of a customer service representative is to make the customer happy. Similarly, you can achieve that goal by empathizing with the patient’s concern and taking ownership of the problem. When you empathize with them, show that you understand and care about them. It will greatly reduce anxiety and make them feel better before your treatment is done.
- Offer them discounts
One of the best ways to give your patients an incentive to choose you over your competitors is to offer them a discount. That could be in the form of a membership card that entitles them to free or discounted services or simply a coupon for a flat amount off any service.
Many people like to go to a particular restaurant or brand because they get special discounts when they visit. You can do the same thing by creating a loyalty program for your patients in exchange for completing surveys about their experience. These cards could offer free massages or concession breaks in return for filling out short surveys at regular intervals.
- Address them with their names
When it comes to making patients feel happy, one of the best things you can learn is their names. That will not only improve your contact with your patient but will also increase their faith in you. People respond well when they feel that they are being listened to and cared for, so take the time to learn your patients’ names to show them that you are invested in their health and happiness.
- Greet them with a smile and a hearty hello
Smiling is the most basic gesture of hospitality. A simple smile can go a long way in building rapport with patients. When patients enter your room, they are more than likely stressed and uncomfortable. Therefore, you must make them feel at home. When a patient comes to your office, greet them, smile, and make small talk. It will put them at ease and help them forget about their worries for the moment.
- Keep your tone pleasant
That may seem like a no-brainer, but it is surprising how many health professionals forget to focus on their tone. Many doctors and other medical providers interact with patients with a brisk “Hello.” When they are ready to leave the room, they tend to utter an abrupt “Goodbye.” Patients pay attention to what you say and how you say it. The tone is often more important than the words themselves. If you are curt, dismissive, or just plain rude, your patient will pick up on your rudeness, which can turn them off or cause them to be defensive in response. If your tone is pleasant, they are more likely to be receptive. So even if there are long waits to see you, patients appreciate a cheerful greeting and farewell.
- Offer a glass of water
It seems like a simple gesture, but offering a patient a glass of water can go a long way toward keeping them happy. Even if they are not thirsty, it provides a moment of pause to help relax them. It also helps them feel more comfortable with you, which will make the situation less awkward for both of you. Therefore, teach your staff to offer patients water and to use this golden opportunity to ask them how they are feeling and what they think of the practice of service. Keep a cooler with glasses near the front desk or in the waiting room to be easy to reach and can be replenished frequently.
- Be punctual
A patient’s perception of how you respect their time is pretty much all that matters regarding their happiness. Patients with better experiences are more likely to trust and respect your practice.
Treat your patients’ time with as much reverence as you do your own. That means you should make every effort to arrive on time for scheduled appointments, especially if you are running late or expect to be late for a visit. It also entails honoring any special requests patients may have when arranging an appointment. Such as setting a time limit for a consultation. Doing this shows patients that you respect them and value their time. It will lead to happier patients who are less likely to switch doctors because they do not feel like you are wasting their time.
Regardless of what kind of doctor you are, patients are the most important part of your practice. You can have the coolest new machine or the most specialized medical skill. Still, you would not do much good as a healthcare provider without happy patients. Therefore, take steps now to keep your patients in the loop and ensure that they are happy with your level of care and service.