Posted on June 10, 2015

As a healthcare facility that caters to the needs of your patients, high quality customer service has always been a priority. But now that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has integrated pay-for-performance programs, there is more incentive for extra patient consideration. Providers who excel in their attentiveness are rewarded with financial perks.

(image credit Dr. Bloom)

Conversely, if evaluations given by patients fall below a certain level, hospitals could face fee-based penalties. The HCAMPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey offers critical insights into the facility’s treatment of patients. So there’s added pressure to exceed expectations and ensure patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, the growth of retail walk-in clinics at grocery and drugstore chains also threatens the standing of hospitals. These alternative options diminish the hold traditional institutions have enjoyed in the healthcare services industry.

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For these reasons, excellent attention to patient needs has been elevated to an even higher level. And even though this newly developed directive creates pressure on facilities that may already be stretched thin, there are many advantages to concentrating on greater patient satisfaction. Malpractice costs could go down due to an enhanced focus on the patient’s wellbeing. As a result, the healthcare facility could experience a better reputation. Therefore, more patients may choose this institution over another.

But just because a facility is motivated to increase its scores doesn’t mean it knows what steps to take. The good news is there are certain things your doctor’s office can do to improve the way patients view your services.

Communicate Better

The days of using a landline phone to reach your patients are long gone. Now social media tops the list of connecting with people. In fact, according to a survey by the National Research Corporation, 1 out of 5 Americans turn to social media as a resource for their healthcare needs. This means social media is a very effective way for you to interact with your patients.

Additionally, by utilizing platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you can post important health education videos, share studies and statistics that are relevant to your patients and respond to questions about health concerns. Social media may even be used to advertise key events at your facility.

Although social media is crucial, patients are looking to have private online communication with their physicians. Fortunately, the Internet is capable of performing this function as well. Web-based portals enable personal interaction that’s only between the doctor and the patient.

But beyond web-based communication, patients also want more one-on-one time with medical staff. Hospitals can facilitate this face-to-face interaction very easily. Just by putting a chair in rooms helps encourage conversation and that help patients feel they are being heard. Even hanging pictures of the care team provides a personal touch that can foster better relationships between patients and personnel.

Keep Clean

There’s no question that a clean health care facility truly matters. And this area is something patients definitely notice when they evaluate any hospital or medical institution. Because appearances are so vital, you need to make sure your institution sparkles in every respect.

But cleanliness is more than just how a facility looks on the surface. Like social media, patients are more reassured when they have the ability to interact with housekeeping. By training your housekeepers to introduce themselves and explain their role, patients have more confidence that their surroundings are immaculate. Putting placards in rooms to announce who has cleaned a patient’s new environment also helps build that ever-important trust.

In Conclusion

You can improve patient scores in many ways while creating a more compassionate place for your community’s medical needs. Through the integration of the latest technology, better face-to-face communication with various levels of your medical staff and an overall cleanliness, you’ll make sure patients feel safer and more confident in your services. These key enhancements will inevitably translate into positive evaluations that prove you make a significant difference in your community.

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