4 Patient Satisfaction Tips
By Marie Olesen
This weekend, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is meeting in Orlando. It’s the perfect venue to spark discussions about patient satisfaction. Walt Disney was laser focused on guest experiences and trained his teams to deliver quality service consistently.
He knew that one disinterested “cast” member or poor service provider could undermine the positive efforts of the rest of the team. Disney trained his people to respond to disappointed guests and fix problems. I experienced it firsthand years ago at Disneyland.
Today the service experience continues to evolve. For example, on a Disney cruise guests interact with dozens of staff. Each must make a positive contribution to the overall experience. Guest disappointments must be addressed and resolved constantly, even in real time. No one, guest or staff, gets to abandon ship to avoid dealing with service issues.
We need to do the same in our practices. But it is not well understood in much of medicine. Providers and practices avoid unhappy patients despite the negative consequences. Unhappy patients lower satisfaction scores and might impact MIPS incentives. Avoiding dissatisfied patients increases the potential for negative reviews and harmful word of mouth.
Responding to service failures is both art and science. Consumers who are happy with the resolution of their service issues are more likely to remain customers and to spread positive word of mouth. Their loyalty is greater than consumers who (1) did not have their service issue addressed or (2) never had a problem in the first place.
To prevent patients from being dissatisfied and increase retention and referrals, be proactive and use the following approach.
- Constantly survey your patients to know what they think
- Build in early-warning systems
- Use data to identify and fix patient issues
- Proactively address patient concerns to turn critics into advocates
I like to think that Walt Disney would have seen the value in what we’re doing at RealPatientRatings to create even better patient experiences.
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