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6 Tips to Increase Patient Satisfaction

Created Jan 16 2017, 7:00 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • Patient satisfaction
  • HCAHPS

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores aren’t just about how patients are treated by doctors and nurses. The equipment and products used in hospitals can have a significant impact on patient approval, according to an industry report. 

A recent survey from the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) revealed that patients' biggest concern is long wait times. Patients also said that providers need to improve their care environments, which can often be achieved by upgrading products and equipment.

Efficiency

Patients also said they would like to see quicker turnaround times for test results and diagnoses.  The time a patient spends in an office, for example, is affected by the speed of lab and diagnostic imaging equipment and the efficiency of office management software.

Some patients expressed dissatisfaction because they couldn't receive laboratory or imaging results during their appointment, which is possible with new rapid testing and diagnostic equipment.

A Clean Environment

Infection control and cleanliness were also cited as important patient concerns. Patients said they want to see a commitment to infection prevention, visible through an overall clean environment, and plenty of hand sanitizer, masks, and infection control signage, for example.

Visibly old or outdated equipment was seen as a detriment to the facility. Amenities such as comfortable furniture and refreshments added to patient satisfaction.

Changing Providers

Nearly half of patients reported that a healthcare provider failed to meet their expectations last year, and 12% switched providers because of their dissatisfaction. Long wait times, outdated equipment, and the courteousness of staff all contribute to patient satisfaction. Patient dissatisfaction can have a big impact on a healthcare organization's business -- affecting clinical outcomes, patient retention, and medical malpractice claims.

Looking to the Future

The survey also asked healthcare executives how they plan to improve patient satisfaction. Responses ranged from looking to invest in new products, including higher-quality bedding, patient entertainment, improved bedside diagnostics, and new laboratory and imaging equipment. 

Certain tips can nurses and other healthcare providers to understand patients better:

  1. Recognize that patients expect a personal relationship that shows compassion and care.
  2. Recognize that patients have rights.
  3. Make a good first impression.
  4. Step into your patients′ shoes; see through their eyes and hear through their ears.
  5. Minimize the patient's waiting time to the least possible.
  6. Always obtain feedback from your patients and correct shortcomings if any.

Healthcare providers should not take patient satisfaction surveys lightly. When patients feel valued, it leads to better clinical and financial outcomes. Timely, efficient, and patient-centered delivery of quality care is a win for everyone involved.

In addition to providing excellence in clinical care and the best service to your patients, what else is your facility doing to increase patient satisfaction?  Leave us a comment below!

Still overwhelmed by lower than desired HCAHPS scores?  Let Lippincott Advisor help!  Our best-in-class, online clinical decision support software for institutions provides the correct answers to all your clinical questions at the bedside.  Use the latest evidence-based information to inform patients and family members, including thousands of customizable patient teaching handouts for post-discharge.  For more information, visit http://lippincottsolutions.com/landing/advisor