In today’s busy world, it is challenging for many practices to request feedback from their patients. It is often even more difficult to find a patient who is willing to share their opinion. This is not because they have nothing nice to say. It is usually because they are just too busy. Patients are more likely to sharing negative feedback than positive. The emotions fueled when upset propel patients to act. They may share their comments with an employee, but more often the negative comment will be posted online. This creates a challenge for many medical providers that rely on the Internet to help build their practice. A Google Places page full of negative comments hurts the practices credibility. The best cure for this problem is to seek out patient feedback.
Take the time to ask each patient how their visit was. This does not have to be the doctor, it can be the person handling check out. When a comment is shared, whether negative or positive, embrace it. Negative comments provide the practice with a window into the patients visit. Patients provide us with fresh eyes into how our practice is running. Use comments that are shared as an opportunity to grow. If you are hearing that your wait time is too long, you should work on ways to improve it. It may be as simple as having a staff member apologize to patients that are in the lobby on a day that you are running unusually behind and offering a beverage or snack if that is something you keep on hand.
Instruct the entire medical team that negative comments should be handled in the same way every time. All negative comments should be addressed by the practice or department manager. The next step is to take the comments seriously. Look the patient in the eye while they are sharing their opinion. Allow them to finish before commenting and let the patient know that you appreciate their concern and will look into the root cause of the problem and will find a solution. Offer the patient a way to reach you directly should they feel the need in the future. Lastly, get back in touch with the patient after a solution to the problem has been made and share with them the solution.
Once you start proactively seeking out feedback from patients, you will most likely see that the vast majority of comments are positive. Take advantage of the positive comments by asking the patient to share their feedback online. Direct them where they should go to share their feedback as well.
With 90% of online patient feedback being positive in nature, it is important to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep your patients happy. Take advantage of each patient encounter and you will find you have more happy patients than you imagined! If you need help getting started, call MindStream Creative at 888-324-5559 today.