The term patient-centric is a popular, sometimes overused, catch phrase within the healthcare industry these days. Although overuse is problematic, there is value to reviewing your practice’s business plan to make sure the culture provides a positive patient experience. Physician groups looking to conduct an internal audit on the matter and make changes to better ensure a welcoming and patient focused experience can benefit from the following tips:
#1: Model the patient experience.
A recent survey of healthcare consumers found the vast majority of respondents chose the ease of appointments as a primary consideration. Review the scheduling process you currently have in place. Is it efficient and user friendly? If not, consider updates.
One option: use of updated appointment scheduling software. It is also helpful to review the conversations your staff is having with patients who call or reach out through email to set up these appointments. In some cases, it is wise to have these individuals follow a script or at least have some a broad overview of highlights for the conversation. It is also helpful to review performance goals and discuss any gaps in scheduling on a regular basis to proactively increase your practice’s efficiency.
#2: Use technology, but wisely.
Technological advances, such as apps that help ease the scheduling experience, can greatly ease the stress that can come with setting up an appointment with a healthcare professional.
However, the use of technology can also cause harm. There are instances when the patient should be able to reach an actual human — a nurse or physician’s assistant that can provide some valuable advice and help the patient decide the best course of action, whether that be an appointment or a slight adjustment in the treatment plan.