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Hooray! National Patient Experience Week is finally here! In case you haven’t heard of it, Patient Experience Week is a week-long celebration for all healthcare staff that has made an impact on patients. I’m sure you’re one of them. This year, the annual celebratory week runs from April 22nd to the 26th.
The Beryl Institute launched this celebration in order to honor and commend passionate and caring healthcare professionals, such as yourself, for the exceptional care they provide patients. During Patient Experience Week, healthcare professionals from an array of specialties will be more inspired and motivated to keep working hard each and every single day to provide their patients with exceptional care.
The True Value of Patient Experience Week
Before anything else, it’s important to understand how important providing an excellent patient experience is. The moment your patients contact you through telephone, send you a message on social media or fill out a form on your website up until they step foot in your clinic, it’s important to make a good impression.
In order to keep your patients happy and at your practice, as a healthcare professional, it’s important for you to build a good rapport with your patients. A positive relationship is something that will help with building patient loyalty. And, loyal patients will ensure that your medical practice continues to survive and thrive.A positive relationship is something that will help with building patient loyalty. And, loyal patients will ensure that your medical practice continues to survive and thrive. Click To Tweet
Now, let’s talk about Patient Experience Week (known as #PXWeek on social media). PXWeek was created to honor all healthcare professionals all over the world and celebrate all the accomplishments of the organizations. From nurses, radiologists, physicians, support staff to patients, families and all the communities that have been served, Patient Experience Week aims to bring all the healthcare professionals and organizations from across the U.S. together to celebrate this momentous event.Nurturing a great patient relationship can have amazing and lasting effects on your healthcare organization. Click To Tweet
Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Patient Experience Week
Nurturing a great patient relationship can have amazing and lasting effects on your healthcare organization. PXWeek can help you in three major ways:
- Happy & loyal patients. The healthcare industry is a super competitive market, and it’s just so hard to ensure that patients stay loyal to only you these days. In just one snap of a finger, your competitors could easily snatch away your patients if they’re able to provide something better for them. To make sure your patients will stay loyal to you, always provide exceptional care to them. Some patients are easy to please while others are very hard to please. This is where your biggest challenge lies.When you take part in PXWeek, your existing patients (and probably some new incoming patients looking for a great doctor), get to see how fun and amazing you are as a medical practice or as a doctor. You get to meet with them, talk, create a nice conversation, and maybe do some fun activities together too. Now, isn’t that just amazing? And if you already have a good number of loyal patients, this week is a time to celebrate that fact. As mentioned earlier, every practice isn’t as fortunate. So, if your practice has loyal and happy patients, that means that you’re providing a good patient experience – so share stories and celebrate that this week!
- Good patient engagement. What type of engagement do you have with your patients? If you have good patient engagement, that’s something to celebrate and share during PXWeek! However, if you’re struggling a little with patient engagement, this week can help you learn how other practices across the country have improved their patient engagement. You could learn valuable tips and advice from all the different social media and blog posts that are being shared. PXWeek is such a great opportunity for you to learn from, mingle with and engage with different types of people from across the country.
- A united team. Whether you’re a private practice or a large healthcare organization, unity in the office setting is extremely important. When all healthcare professionals get along, a strong foundation is created that nobody can easily shake up. PXWeek can be a great opportunity for all healthcare professionals to bond with each other. It’s also a great way for patients and staff relationships to strengthen with each other. PXWeek can also increase staff morale and improve communication between healthcare professionals and their patients. And honestly, if you have an amazing staff, highlight them this week and thank them. People love recognition, so take time to spotlight and show your appreciation to your staff this week. People love recognition, so take time to spotlight and show your appreciation to your staff this week. Click To Tweet
How You Can Improve The Patient Experience
In order for you to improve patient experiences, you need to improve patient satisfaction. Here are seven ways to improve patient satisfaction:
- Smile. A smile can go a really long way. Even when you’re on the phone, when you smile while talking, it will reflect in your voice. A smile can be really contagious. Share it as much as you can, especially with your patients. When your patients come in and see your beautiful smile, they will (probably) end up smiling too.
- Go digital. The rise of technology is prevalent. It’s everywhere we go. So, don’t get left behind. With a well-designed and patient-friendly website, the ability for your patients to book an appointment online and connect with them through your different social media platforms, you can instantly increase patient satisfaction. In today’s digital age, patients want you to be as tech-savvy as they are. Thought you should also know that 40 percent of doctors said that with the help of the Internet, they have boost patient outcomes and patient satisfaction as well. So ask yourself, how tech-savvy is your practice?
- Decrease waiting time. One of the things patients hate the most is when they have to wait for a really long time before being seen. I mean, that’s what appointments are for, right? It’s definitely frustrating on the part of your patients to show up on time for their appointment and then have to wait for 30 minutes before you can offer your services. Only about 60 percent of patients have the patience to wait for their turn. The lesson here is, just don’t make them wait. Create a method to ensure that your patients will not have to wait for more than 10-15 minutes for their turn. You wouldn’t want them to switch doctors now, would you?
- Communication is key. There is low health literacy in America. I bet the numbers are even more staggering in other countries, especially third world countries. This problem can be solved when you, as a healthcare provider, put an effort in educating patients beyond just simple verbal education during visits. When you educate your patients, they’ll feel your genuine care and recognize that you’re not just in it for the money.
- Set expectations. Visiting a doctor for the first can make your patients anxious. Most patients want to be ready before visiting the doctor. Relieve your patients’ anxieties by sending any forms, directions, and instructions that they’re going to need to make them feel secure. By doing this, you are setting expectations which will (or can) help reduce the anxiety of your patients.
- Keep your employees happy. A healthy and happy working environment is very important. When your employees are happy, they would be loyal employees to you. Loyal patients plus loyal employees? Smells like money to me.
- Ask for feedback. What better way to learn how satisfied your patients are than by simply asking them? That’s the best way of knowing. Patients are very eager to share their feedback, especially if they have concerns. Collect as much feedback as you can, and act on it. For positive feedback, share it with your staff and acknowledge the positives. For negative feedback, make an action plan.
On That Note…
Having a great camaraderie between you and your patients is vital in order for your medical practice to thrive in the healthcare industry. Take some time to celebrate PXWeek, honor the medical professionals at your practice and watch your healthcare organization grow. And, if you need any assistance with providing a better experience for your patients, Website4MD is here to help. We provide a vast array of services from online review management, an online appointment booking platform, and so much more. Ready to improve your patient satisfaction? Click here to learn how.
Oh, and are you looking for some great ways to celebrate Patient Experience Week? Our affiliate company, DrCatalyst, wrote a great post about fun ways to celebrate Patient Experience Week – check it out!