Think back to your last office visit. Was there a noisy outdated television? Old magazines scattered around? Stiff chair? If you felt uncomfortable in your doctor’s office, you aren’t alone. While many hospitals are looking into gourmet chefs and complete redesigns, physician offices are largely going unchanged.
Although comfort may not seem like it should be a priority to a physician group, a recent study found that 96% of complaints were customer service related. In fact, more than 35,000 online reviews showed that the vast majority of patient dissatisfaction with physicians comes from their experiences with the office management and not in the quality of care.
This is clearly something every physician needs to think about. Patients are rating physicians, not on the quality of care, but on how they are treated from the time they walk in the office door to the time they leave. While some providers have embraced the idea of customer satisfaction and have added things like free Wi-Fi and well-lit waiting rooms, others are still behind the curve.
Incentives to improve include review sites such as HealthGrades, Yelp, and ZocDoc. These sites give patients more opportunities to affect the business of a physician group. In addition, patients are now asked to fill out CG-CAHPS surveys that determine physician reimbursement. So when a patient takes the time to get to the physician’s office – researching who to see, traveling, taking off of work, etc., office staff should be committed to ensuring a pleasant office experience.
Office staff will often mail paper surveys to patients in order to determine both areas of improvement and overall patient satisfaction. Yet these surveys have a low rate of completion and an even lower rate of submission. However, moving an office towards a digital and user-friendly questionnaire can provide managers with a better understanding of the patient experience. With tools like CipherRounds, physicians and office staff members receive real-time patient data, higher response rates, and quicker report turnaround, which all provide a solid foundation for driving the right types of improvements.
When patients visit a physician, they may be scared, in pain, or both. They may be stressed about how they will pay, what their test results will show, or how long the whole process will take. If both physicians and the entire office staff can show compassion, ensure a streamlined check-in/registration process, and offer a few considerate amenities, patients are bound to notice and feel better about their experience.
To learn how your organization can use CipherRounds to drive patient satisfaction improvement, contact us today.