In recent times, a much higher priority has been placed on the necessity of patient customer satisfaction. Recent studies have noted that patients not only were suffering from their ailments, but were also unsatisfied with the quality of service provided to them. This deficiency was characterized by a lack of friendliness and empathy by healthcare professionals and their supporting staff.
Since the healthcare industry has had to place a greater focus on patient satisfaction, they have joined a host of other industries who function solely to fully satisfy their customers. They do this by making improvements to their products and services. The increasing demand for a higher degree of transparency in the sector and a steadily rising degree of expectations from patients are factors that initially contributed to making the healthcare industry more susceptible to the idea of consumerism and the protection of the interests of the consumer.
A patient centred approach to healthcare, addressing patient satisfaction, now plays a vital role in healthcare and the quality improvement of healthcare services. Patients are in the unique position of being able to provide the practice with their first-hand experience and perspective of the services. Healthcare professionals can then consider not only patient health outcomes, but also non-clinical aspects of care such as providing patients with compassionate care and preservation of dignity.
Now, services aimed to increase patient satisfaction have been incorporated as a vital component when delivering quality healthcare. Healthcare services noted as being of a high quality all have one key similarity; they all consider patient satisfaction to be of the utmost importance. This has led to the designing of strategies that improve healthcare services and in turn, patient satisfaction.
But how can we Measure Patient Satisfaction?
Using surveys to measure the satisfaction of your patient is an incredibly useful way to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your practice, facility and even individual team members. Moreover, receiving actionable feedback enables your practice to address deficiencies within the organisation. This ultimately translates into better care and quality improvements for your patients. What’s more, it shows your patients and the community at large that you care about them as individuals and are looking for ways to improve the services provided to them.
These surveys typically give patients the opportunity to rate the various aspects of the healthcare facility he or she associated with. These aspects may include physician communication, nurse communication, medication communication, responsiveness, pain management, discharge information, cleanliness, likeliness to recommend; and overall rating of the facility.
The Benefits of Patient Satisfaction
With the current importance attached quality improvement in the healthcare industry, many studies have been carried out to better understand the issue of patient satisfaction. These studies yielded positive results, and it was discovered that improvements to the services rendered would, in turn, not only improve patient satisfaction but also the financial viability of the practice.
Healthcare facilities that acted on the feedback provided to attain quality improvement had higher rates of customer satisfaction and were also significantly more profitable and financially stable.
Healthcare organizations are also businesses. So, whatever it is that makes business “good” would also serve as a powerful drive to achieving success. So, with the close relationship existing between financial gains, reimbursements and patient satisfaction, healthcare-oriented organizations are now resolutely making drastic improvements to their patient satisfaction schemes.