Secrets To Obtaining 100 Percent Patient Satisfaction

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Keeping your staff motivated, educated and appreciated is essential to facilitating strong patient satisfaction.
A little extra time and effort can go a long way in bolstering satisfaction among your current patients and increasing the number of new patient referrals to your practice, according to the author.
By Kristin Titko, DPM

    Determine what type of scheduling process works best for you. For some, it is seeing one patient every 15 minutes. Some physicians are able to see more and some see less. However, if you are repeatedly running behind schedule, it may be time to reassess your scheduling techniques. Also monitor your office for bottlenecks at the front desk, at the check-in counter during the billing process and the time that it takes your staff to bring your patients into and out of their treatment rooms.

    Do not forget to monitor your own efficiency and be sure to focus on your patient’s current concern instead of spending excess time in the room on small talk. Certainly, small talk is important but watch your clock and stay on schedule. We all treat many of the same conditions over and over throughout our day so develop a “canned speech” for these most common conditions that present to your office so your flow is more consistent as opposed to coming across as uncertain and hesitant. Make use of the staff’s training. Instruct them on how to educate patients on their conditions and give them guidelines on answering questions that patients frequently ask. Doing so enables your staff to help decrease the time you need to spend with your patients without compromising patient care.

Why It Is Important To Appreciate Staff And Patients

    Your staff likely spends more time with your patients than you do so be sure that you are all working together for the same end result: 100 percent patient satisfaction. Keep your staff motivated, educated and appreciated. By hiring certified medical assistants, you can often expect more maturity in your staff. They will also likely be more comfortable helping you with educating and speaking to your patients. Keep your medical assistants certified in CPR and X-ray technology. This makes them not only more valuable to your practice but it lets them know that you want to invest in their commitment to the practice. Continuing education for your staff keeps them updated and mentally stimulated, which keeps their job more interesting to them.

    Your staff wants to feel a strong sense of job security and commitment from you just like you want to feel a commitment from them. Develop a bonus system based on dispensing products sold in your office, new patient generation or any other relevant criteria that is important to your practice. Keep your staff benefits high so patients are part of the team instead of feeling like part of a hierarchy. Benefits may range from a 401k plan or cash incentives to recognition of birthdays or special events in their or their family’s lives. Consider asking them what benefits would be important to them and see if this could work into your plan to keep your staff working together with you.

    A motivated staff will interact most appropriately with your patients and thus encourage your patients to refer their friends and family to continue building your practice. Do not forget to recognize your staff for doing this.

    You want your patients to be satisfied with their visits with you but you also want them to help build a stronger practice. When your patients do something special such as recommending your practice to a friend or family member, do not forget to thank them for their generosity. A thank you may be as simple as a handwritten card, movie passes or other appropriate tokens.

Have You Done A Patient Survey Lately?

    We would all like to think that our patients are 100 percent satisfied with what we do for them. Podiatric physicians who are truly interested in satisfying their patients will take the time to glean input from them. Develop a patient satisfaction survey. This survey should be simple with yes/no or multiple-choice type questions that are simple to read and respond to. This survey should be administered anonymously so patients will give their true input. Even if the vast majority of your surveys come back positive and in your favor, do not forget to respond to those who are offering constructive criticism. What your patients expect and want from you may be different from what you think they are searching for.

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