Providing good care to someone in need is something that has no hidden agendas or motives. It is purely done to improve a person’s quality of life. Healthcare practitioners dedicate themselves to the well-being of those around them. If you are a healthcare professional, nothing would be more important for you than delivering exceptional care and making sure that your patients experience better health. Irrespective of the area that you provide care in, how would you know what’s working for your patients and what’s not? It’s simple; through patient feedback.
What is patient feedback?
When a person has a medical condition and needs treatment for the same, he/she will ensure to invest in a healthcare provider who can meet his/her expectations. For the same, the first thing that they will do is a basic google search.
Fun fact: nearly 5 percent of the total searches on Google are health-related.
Let’s say Mark needs to have a tooth extraction done but is unaware as to which dentist is the best fit for him. To gain some clarity, he’ll do a basic search on Google, by asking ‘best dental practitioners near me’. Google will assess his location and will provide him with a list of all the dentists in his vicinity. But how does Mark evaluate the credibility of all those dentists that he has been directed to? By their review ratings. After seeing the number of reviews and the review star ratings for each of those dentists, he will pick the dentist that he finds to be the most credible. In Mark’s case, what essentially worked was the positive feedback from patients. This is exactly what patient feedback is all about.
Patient feedback provides valuable information pertaining to the quality of your services as a healthcare provider. While the positive feedback tells you about the areas you’re excelling at, the negative feedback highlights the areas for improvement. Patient feedback, in all, is a means to trigger improvement in your practice, which further can help you retain your existing patients and attract more customers. It is important that you start using patient feedback for quality improvement.
Importance of patient feedback
If you really dig into the intricacies of patient feedback, you’ll realize how important it is to grow your practice. When you meet a patient, diagnose the issue, and suggest treatment; the entire process has to be seamless because that’s what is going to reflect in the feedback that your patient leaves. Here’s why patient feedback is important for your healthcare practice:
1. It helps you gain extra insight
Your purpose shouldn’t be to just ask for feedback, but it should be to focus on what each of these feedbacks says about your practice. What is driving the positive or negative feedback? What is the customer’s motivation behind leaving feedback? When you go through the feedback left by your customers, you’ll come across some common terms that nearly all customers use to describe their experience. Terms like ‘excellent’ and ‘friendly’ are the ones that are commonly used when describing a positive experience. On the other hand, words like ‘rude’ and ‘unprofessional’ are commonly used by customers who haven’t had a satisfactory experience. Understanding these trends will help you make amends in your care.
2. It helps you maintain a healthy online reputation
Maintaining a healthy reputation online is one of the most crucial things for you as a healthcare practitioner, as it helps you give a strong presence to your business, attract potential customers, and enhance your patient base. The feedback left by your past customers will work like magic when it comes to elevating your online reputation. So make sure that you have a robust online reputation management strategy in place.
3. It helps you enhance care
When a patient chooses your practice, he/she expects a great experience, right from the scheduling of the appointment to the wait time, from your attitude towards him/her to the communication and diagnosis. As a healthcare practitioner, your job shouldn’t just limit to providing treatment, but also ‘care’. So be mindful of the kind of care you provide as compared to what your patient expects from you. When you close that gap, you’re on the road to enhancing patient experience and building your practice.
4. It improves healthcare outcomes
Patient experience, without a doubt, is directly proportional to patient retention. The better care you provide, the more patients you retain. You need to show that you appreciate their feedback and the fact that it matters to you. Doing so will make your patients feel valued, which will further boost engagement.
5. It helps you keep up with the competition
Patient feedback is not only a means for you to connect with your patients, but is also an important tool to see where you stand in this competitive world. Whether it is other practices in the realm of healthcare or other doctors providing care in the same area, then good feedback is what’s going to set you apart.
6. It helps you understand gaps in care
While you try to deliver the best care at all times, there are elements that might seem insignificant to you but have a negative impact on your patient, if overlooked. Let’s say that a patient enters your clinic and inquires about his appointment with the receptionist. Suppose the receptionist is another call and is not able to answer the patient, and doesn’t pay heed. The time when the customer leaves feedback after the appointment, he might point out the long wait time or unprofessional attitude on the part of your receptionist. That’s when you know what to work on, and it starts by responding to those negative reviews. Understanding such gaps in your care will ensure that you don’t lose out on patients or lose revenue.
What happens when you don’t ask for patient feedback?
If you have a robust patient feedback system by your side, you can easily figure out what problems exist and act on those accordingly. However, when you don’t ask for feedback from your patients, you are causing a lot of harm to your practice.
Here are the negative effects that might hurt your practice:
– Patients might think that their feedback doesn’t matter to you
If you are looking forward to acquiring and retaining customers, you must understand that your patients want to be heard. With a strong patient feedback system, you can eliminate the possibility of unknowingly neglecting your patients.
– You might lose out on valuable insights that can help improve your practice
Patient retention can happen when you, as a healthcare provider, make the extra effort to constantly adjust and improve your practices to ensure that your patients are satisfied. But it is also important to have that effort reflected online, which can give you insights into the problems, both minor and major, that could be having an impact on patient satisfaction. Managing your reputation online has become more important than ever. Make sure that you ask for reviews from your patients every time you serve them. This will enhance your online reach, thereby making you and your practice more visible to potential customers.
5 easy ways to collect patient feedback
As a healthcare practitioner, your focus should not only be to acquire new patients and deliver excellent care but should also build lasting relationships with your existing customers. Now that you have gained an overview of patient feedback, here are some easy ways to collect feedback from your patients:
Did you know that patient care surveys are an excellent medium to evaluate which healthcare facility is patient-centered? Whenever you deliver a service to a patient, ensure to send out a survey via email or text. This will not only reflect that you value your patient’s feedback but will also make your practice stand out. You can use the Emitrr software to send surveys to your patients. Simply log in to your account, and select ‘Surveys’. This is what you will be directed to:
You can create your own survey form by asking a question as simple as ‘How was our service?’ and give two options; ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
After adding the question and the options, you can distribute your survey to your contacts. You can view the response in the view responses tab in the above image, and can even analyze the data by clicking on the ‘form metrics’ button. One huge benefit that you can avail is the ability to send survey links to many people at once, with a single click! So, if you’re looking forward to saving your time and effort, Emitrr’s capabilities are all you need.
#2: Feedback forms
When a patient comes to visit, and they are done with the diagnosis, you can hand out a feedback form in the form of a questionnaire to them asking for their feedback. Doing so will establish the credibility of your business, and will show your patients that you care. You can analyze the feedback received from your patients and accordingly make adjustments to the areas of pre-care, care, and post-care.
It can include questions like:
- Did your healthcare provider explain the issues to you?
- Did your healthcare provider answer all your questions?
- Are you satisfied with the overall experience?