Although a physician’s engagement with their patient usually lasts for a short period, this can differ from the patient’s viewpoint. A patient may have several appointments, which may continue even after leaving the facility. Apart from bearing in mind the welfare of a clinic’s staff, it is the physician’s responsibility to ensure their patients feel appreciated and respected during their visits. The following are ways physicians can improve their patient’s experience.
Encourage Effective Communication
A doctor’s ability to communicate effectively is equally essential as treating the patients. It is crucial to ask patients open-ended questions to get a comprehensive picture of their condition. Although a patient may visit a clinic due to a minor issue, they may also be suffering from other underlying conditions which may need remote patient monitoring. A physician may provide the crucial information during a visit, but the patient may fail to capture and retain it if the communication is ineffective.
Implement Shared Decision Making
This is a healthcare approach where physicians and patients collaborate to make decisions by leveraging patients’ input and the doctors’ experience. If patients create a perception that they do not have a say in their care plan, they may be discouraged, and their compliance level may even reduce. Unfortunately, failure to adhere to a doctor’s prescription can yield poor results, leading to repetitive visits. Adopting a shared decision-making approach encourages patients to feel in control of their well-being, making them more active in the treatment process.
Adopt Patient Comfort Measures
A minor change can create a significant difference in improving a patient’s experience. For instance, when a physician explains the importance or purpose of a medical procedure before undertaking it, it makes the patient feel less anxious and more comfortable. It is also crucial to inform the patient whether a particular procedure may be painful to avoid being pleasantly surprised. A physician should consider applying a topical anesthetic before trivial surgical needle procedures or injections to minimize the pain.
Use Value Stream Mapping
Physicians can apply this business management approach to analyze and enhance their patients’ flow. The value stream map portrays the patient’s movement from when they schedule the appointment to when they leave the office.
Value stream mapping enables physicians to identify problems during every step of a patient’s visit, allowing them to know the procedures that create value to a patient’s experience and which do not. This enables clinicians to develop and retain value-adding procedures. Physicians should also adopt other effective technology, like remote patient monitoring software.
Improve The Satisfaction Of Staff
Physicians are usually responsible for the welfare of their staff and the patients. When other teams are proud of their position, the same is reflected in their duties and care. For instance, how a receptionist communicates to a patient based on their attitude impacts the patient’s contentment during their entire visit. On the other hand, a nurse or medical assistant who treats a patient in a good way makes the patient feel more satisfied.
A patient’s experience during a clinical visit can impact their treatment and recovery. Medical practitioners should adopt the above ways to improve their patient’s satisfaction.