As the healthcare sector globally embraces patient-centric care strategies many New Zealand practitioners are looking for ways to improve service delivery and enhance patient experience. We regularly speak with clinicians and practice managers that focus on enhancing patient experience with great success, we noticed a few things that are working well for them and have put together our top tips for improving patient experience.
1. Educate Patients
Today, many patients are taking control of their health care, the plethora of information available on the internet means they are more educated regarding their health and hungry for information. Feed their hunger for knowledge by providing fact sheets and information about their condition or the medication you are prescribing. This will help them to feel more engaged and satisfied with their care. It will also allow the practitioner to ensure their patients are receiving accurate information.
Elderly patients and those with chronic illnesses are often taking a variety of medications. It can be really helpful for them if you provide a list of medications, both Medtech32 and Evolution make it easy to print this important information during the consultation.
2. Offer convenience
Today’s busy lifestyles mean that your patients appreciate convenience. Providing a positive patient experience includes more than delivering high quality care. It’s about making healthcare more accessible through facilities like on-line bookings, video consultations, appointment reminders and on-line repeat prescription requests. The good news is that many patients are happy to pay additional fees for services like video consultations and on-line repeat prescriptions because they appreciate the time savings.
Medtech boast an impressive suite of optional modules that will deliver convenience and time savings, while improving health service delivery, click here if you would like to talk to one our consultants about these optional modules available for Medtech32 and Evolution.
3. Minimise wait times
We know that patients lead busy lives, their time is valuable and while they don’t mind a bit of a wait to see their doctor, they do become frustrated when wait times are excessive and they feel their schedule is not being respected.
Emergencies and delays occur in medical practice but communicating with patients prior to the scheduled appointment regarding the delays will be appreciated. If the doctor is running 1 hour late, the communication can be as simple as sending an SMS message to all patients with bookings, notifying them that there is an expected 1-hour delay and offering them the opportunity to either rebook or come in 1 hour later. Your patients will appreciate the transparency.
4. Online Presence
Building a strong online presence that is designed to showcase your practice and the type of care you provide is key. This includes your practice website and Google Business Page.
Your practice website is often the first interaction a new patient will have with your practice so ensure it conveys the right message about the types of patients you work with, the services you provide and your consulting hours. It’s also a great idea to include an introduction to the doctors in your practice as well as highlight their areas of specialty and expertise. This will allow patients to select the best practitioner for their needs which will enhance their experience with your practice.
Allowing patients to book appointments through your website will provide added convenience for them and also heighten their experience.
5. Patient Interaction
A key area to improve patient experience is via the telephone. Reception in a medical practice can be a busy place, and often staff don’t have time to think about how they are perceived over the phone. Ensuring staff know the importance of telephone etiquette is vital.
It is a good idea to provide all admin staff with training and telephone scripts to ensure that everyone on the front desk is making your patients feel important and cared for both on the phone and when they arrive for their appointment.
6. Welcome Pack
When a new patient registers with your practice, help to make them feel important by sending them a welcome pack. This should include a list of services that you provide, details of the doctors within the practice, your clinic hours and instructions on how to find you.
Collecting medical history for new patients is a critical part of the onboarding process. Make it easier for your patients by sending new patient intake forms to them prior to their appointment, this will enable them to complete the forms at their leisure and also compile any historical test results that may be required.
Patient demographics and needs are changing, younger patients are more educated in terms of their healthcare, they are more connected and crave convenience. The way they want to engage with their healthcare provider has evolved. Technology can be a huge enabler and when harnessed effectively it will enhance service delivery and promote patient engagement.
There are a variety of ways to improve patient experience within your practice and we have covered just a few. We are sure you have a few suggestions and we would love to hear them. Please email your thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org