Efficiencies: Go out and talk to your patients

Q. How do I improve my patient experience?
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Monday, July 31, 2017

A. The best way is to go out and talk to your patients. Find out what their current experience is. It may sound too simple, but it’s a critical step rarely taken.
As a home infusion nurse, I saw on a daily basis how frustrated patients were with their care. And I was shocked when I learned how much money my bosses wasted delivering experiences that only frustrated their patients. If you are spending money to keep your patients happy, and it mostly makes your patients mad, that money is worse than wasted—it is money you take out of your own pocket to hurt your business.
Health care is all over the news, and the subject of most stories is the same: patient dissatisfaction with care, or the skyrocketing cost of care. Nobody knows this better than the typical healthcare provider. No matter how much more you spend every year to take care of your patients, satisfaction scores keep going down. A lot of times, there’s little that can be done. But for one of the most common frustrations, there is an untapped opportunity to use technology—technology that can build healthier connections with patients, while eliminating large, legacy cost centers. HIPAA-compliant software and communications can provide patients with instant responses and help.
So go out and talk to your patients. Show them that you see them as human beings, not numbers. You will probably find the most common frustrations are simple customer service complaints, like response times and knowledgeable staff.
Melissa Kozak is CEO of Citus Health. Reach her at Melissa.kozak@citushealth.com.