Published On: Mon, Dec 21st, 2015

How Health Facilities Are Solving the Problem of Patient Dissatisfaction

Health care professionals, hospitals and clinics understand that the American public has a general distrust of the medical field. Pleasing patients is a growing concern now that medical facilities have to collect patient satisfaction surveys, which can impact pay levels. As a result more doctors and hospitals are taking initiative to improve how they interact with patients and the overall patient experience.

There are many ways that hospitals and physicians can provide better care and communication, but the solutions below are some of the most effective steps being taken.

Patient Relationship Management Systems

Keeping track of a growing list of patients, scheduling and billing has been a sticking point for many hospitals and clinics. When facilities drop the ball, don’t stay in contact or mistakenly contact the wrong patient, that can have a negative effect on trust. That’s why more facilities are using patient relationship management systems to help keep everything organized and automate communication.

These software systems are essentially a database with patient information and allow a clinic to send and schedule messages. Templates can be created and standard messaging can be used for mass communication as well. Solutionreach is among one of the first software companies to develop a management system specifically for patient care. Using cloud-based technology, clinics and hospitals are able to send patients scheduled messages so there’s a constant line of communication.

Investing in Electronic Health Record Database Tools

The National Electronic Health Records Database was created to help improve patient care by making all medical records readily available for physicians. In the past there was an issue with doctors not being able to see patients’ past medical records because they were kept in each individual office. How clinics implement and use the electronic health record database varies. Many clinics are investing in software systems that make it easy to add new records and filter through information within the database. In doing so, these clinics and offices are able to utilize more information and provide superior care.



Creating Entire Organizations That Are Focused on Patient Care

It’s not enough for the doctor to be empathetic and provide excellent service. Every person in the clinic or hospital makes an impression on the patient, which is why more facilities are training their entire team in proper customer service. Emphasis is being put on teaching employees the importance of apologizing rather than getting defensive if a problem does arise. There is also focus on making sure every team member knows how to handle patient complaints rather than simply passing things off or disregarding the complaint.

Improving Non-Verbal Skills and Cues

What isn’t said is just as important as the words being spoken since 93% of communication is non-verbal. Studies like a recent survey from the University of Michigan show even what a doctor wears can make an impression on patients. Doctors are now paying more attention to using better non-verbal communication. As the UNC School of Medicine suggests, doctors are working on building trust by making better eye contact, actively listening and acknowledging patients’ pain points.

Providing Patients With Information

We live in an information age and that has not escaped hospitals and clinics. Educational materials and tools are an important investment for medical facilities that make patient care a priority. Providing patients with education helps to build trust and allows patients to be a more active participant in deciding on a treatment plan. Giving patients information also helps doctors open up the lines of communication so they can discuss issues in more detail and allow patients to ask questions.

Helping people overcome their fear of hospitals and the anxiety of a medical condition adds to the many challenges that health facilities face. Ultimately the hospitals and doctors that provide the best patient experience are the ones taking a holistic approach to care. From the second a patient walks through the door they are greeted by helpful staff members and put at ease. The lines of communication are strong the entire way through so that patients understand how things are progressing and what can be expected as they move forward. By building a foundation of trust more health care providers are able to shore up patient satisfaction and improve their experience.

Author: Ravi Kumarr Gupta


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