Tracking Patient Satisfaction Key to a Consumer-Driven Strategy
Topic: Tracking Patient Satisfaction Key to a Consumer-Driven Strategy
Healthcare organizations need to gather real-time patient feedback at every touchpoint from appointment scheduling to bill pay in order to execute a consumer-oriented, data-driven patient satisfaction strategy.
Improving patient experiences from registration to bill pay, will positively impact the overall satisfaction level of the entire encounter, leading to revenue cycle optimization. To successfully impact satisfaction though, healthcare organizations need to have a way to track and measure their patient experience initiatives to evaluate their overall strategy.
“What gets measures gets improved,” says Joe McMurray, Senior Vice President of Patient Experience at Zotec Partners.
While research has proven the adage to be true—from data analytics leading to improvements across clinical, financial, and operational processes to quality measures boosting value-based care—healthcare organizations do not always have the resources readily available to measure the very factor that could lead to better patient retention and referrals, higher patient collections, and smoother operations.
Limited capacity to track patient satisfaction and lack of technology to measure it are major barriers to improving the overall patient experience, explains McMurray. At this time, healthcare organizations themselves may also lack the innovation on the patient experience side of care and operations as most organizations are just starting on the path to truly consumer-centric patient care.
Healthcare organizations should be starting the journey to patient satisfaction measurement now, and with the help of the right technology, they can convert patient feedback into useful information to help form and execute strategies that align with consumer needs and the organization’s financial and operational success.
What healthcare organizations need to track
Healthcare organizations should listen to “the voice of the consumer,” according to Jason Mazeika, Director of Patient Experience at Zotec Partners.
“Actively listen to patients—they’ll vocalize the challenges or pain points that exist. Then, take the steps and make the changes to enhance the experience,” says Mazeika. “Ask yourself how to make the financial experience as easy as possible. Once patients overwhelmingly say the billing process is really easy, continue to improve and make it even simpler.”
To answer these questions, healthcare organizations need to gather patient feedback at every touchpoint during a patient’s encounter, whether it be a phone call, chat interaction, or email. Organizations should be opening communication channels to regularly ask patients about their experience so far.
That channel of communication should also be as close to real-time as possible to enact immediate change. With that feedback, organizations can create a data-driven strategy for improving patient satisfaction to meet evolving consumer needs.
A flexible, data-driven patient satisfaction strategy can help organizations make lasting changes, such as implementing payment options their consumers want (e.g., digital bill pay and payment plans) and creating omnichannel avenues for provider-patient communication. These changes will align precisely with what a specific provider’s population wants from their patient experience while also boosting the bottom line. But it can also inform more immediate improvements.
“The feedback practices get enables them to focus on what matters most—patients,” McMurray elaborates. “In the event of a negative interaction, real-time feedback empowers providers to perform service recovery and not let a poor experience potentially make its way to social media. The feedback also provides the necessary data to help drive the process or system improvement.”
Topic Discussed: Tracking Patient Satisfaction Key to a Consumer-Driven Strategy
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