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Patient feedback can help practices improve patient experience, engagement and loyalty, attract new patients and assist your practice management team in improving their overall service delivery.

Here at HealthEngine, we often receive questions about patient feedback. Practice owners and managers alike wonder:

  • “How important is patient feedback?”
  • “What is the best way to capture it?”
  • “How do HealthEngine users gather feedback?”
  • “What about negative reviews?”

In this piece, we will focus on addressing the top questions that practices have about patient feedback in general.

Q1: How Important Is Patient Feedback?

Patient feedback plays an important role for both your patients and your practice. Let’s consider each:

The importance for patients

Patient expectations of care are increasing in today’s customer-centric world. Whilst healthcare plays a complex and impactful role in patient’s lives, they will often view the interaction similarly to other service experiences they deal with day to day.

Think about the last time you went to go out for a meal. Did you look at Yelp, Dimmi, or even Open Table? Perhaps you had a sneak peek at the menu beforehand. It’s practically become a learned behaviour to Google a business before we even interact with it.

Patients do the exact same thing when they are looking for a medical practice. They like to be informed.

The ability to offer feedback is also appreciated by patients after their visit. It’s nice to feel as though your opinion matters to your practitioner and that they are listening.

The importance for your practice:

We don’t need to tell you that competition to attract and retain patients is fierce in Australia.

Gaining the insight of your patients and taking that feedback on board can be the differentiating factor in ensuring your practice stands out from the crowd.

Knowledge is power and the best way to continuously improve your practice is to adapt to their needs as much as possible.

Question 2: “What is the best way to capture it?”

Capturing patient feedback can be done in multiple ways. Most practices are already doing some form of feedback gathering.

Everything from paper-surveys to social media, posted feedback forms or simply chatting with your patients after an appointment counts!

However, if you want to ensure that patient feedback helps you to keep your current patients happy, attract more patients and assist your practice management team in improving the patient experience all round, we suggest underpinning everything with a simple, standardised approach.

Sending your patients a quick 3-question survey via SMS, email (and push notification if they have the HealthEngine app) directly after their appointment, increases the probability that:

  1. Patients will respond
  2. Patients will remember enough about their visit to offer valuable insight
  3. Your practice will get more valuable feedback than ever before

Question 3: “How do HealthEngine users gather feedback?”

Practices using HealthEngine get patient feedback through a completely free feedback management tool called Patient Pulse.

Patients of HealthEngine practices are sent a quick 3-question survey  after their appointments. The practice then receives this feedback via their HealthEngine Practice Admin portal on an easy-to-use dashboard.

Patient Pulse allows these practices to:

  • Get insights patients may not have been comfortable offering face to face (for example if the front desk staff were unfriendly or the waiting room toilet wasn’t clean)
  • Discover and keep track of their practice Word of Mouth Score, to instantly assess both the quality of patient experience and the likelihood that your patients speak positively about your practice. The Word of Mouth Score is a globally recognised metric for measuring customer experience, loyalty, and predicting growth. The score is based on patient responses to the question, how likely they would be to recommend your practice on a scale of 0 to 10. Learn more about Word of Mouth Score and its benefits here
  • Get more feedback than ever before by having shorter, easier to complete surveys sent to all patients instantly after their appointment – including those who didn’t book through HealthEngine
  • Retain more patients and prevent unwanted word of mouth by quickly reaching out to patients that have left negative feedback
  • See all of the results in an easy to use dashboard that looks like this:

 

Question 4 “What about negative feedback?”

Despite your best intentions, negative feedback is an unfortunate fact of practice life.

However, negative feedback can be a very positive thing, depending on what you do with it. It is the most valuable form of constructive criticism your practice can receive as it sheds light on the patient experience. It gives you actionable insight to make improvements.

The most important things practices can do with negative feedback is to repair patient relationships and make necessary changes.

With HealthEngine’s Patient Pulse, practices are sent all of their feedback directly. This gives you the chance to repair the relationship with any unhappy patients and implement any changes that may be necessary.

Start gathering patient feedback for free today

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In Summary

Managing patient feedback effectively can seem quite daunting if you haven’t had a standardised approach to capturing it in the past. However, it is the most useful and completely free method of improving your practice.

Positive feedback will encourage staff and tell you what you’re doing well. Any comments offered by patients will encourage new patients to visit too.

Negative feedback, when actioned properly, will help you to make improvements to your practice.

Keep speaking to your patients, keep gathering valuable feedback from them over the reception desk, but if you want to gather all the insight you can, standardising and simplifying that process is our recommended approach. (Plus, if you’re using HealthEngine, it’s totally free!).

Click here for more information on the Patient Pulse Tool or here if you’d like to work out a complete practice success plan with one of our dedicated practice consultants.

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