Posts Tagged ‘patient satisfaction’

Healthcare is now shifting from provider power to consumer power.  In the past, providers had all the information and patients had little idea on statistics of said provider or reviews of their services.

Many providers are being reimbursed on calculations partly based on patient satisfaction.  Providers can ensure patient satisfaction and full reimbursement by following the RATER model (Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, and Responsiveness).



Patients want their health care provider to be reliable. Provide continuous employee training on how to provide reliable care and attention to detail.


Patients want to feel confident that they’re getting the right service. Provide the big picture issue and discuss specifics. Most important, ask questions and encourage a back-and-forth exchange with the patient.


Patients benefit from something tangible after their treatment, like instructions for home care or tips to stay healthy.


Patients like to be heard, and that they have a say in their course of treatment.


Do not overpromise timely services but keep patients informed of the timing of their care.

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Within the current health care industry, practitioners are experiencing difficulty in promoting medical services. In response, many health care providers are looking towards signage to gain a marketing advantage.
Placing banners, posters, window signs and counter cards throughout the office and exam rooms have proven to educate patients as well as increase revenue. Here are some tips as to furthering marketing strategies within a medical practice:
– Build trust, open doors
Do not underestimate the power of signage. Even small signage within a waiting room has an effect on the information retained by patients. This repeated exposure can foster interest, patient-provider trust-building and cross-selling.
– Educate, market, and grow
Signage can be a very effective means of health communication as they can bring about awareness towards a specific health initiative such as outbreaks, follow-ups, and healthy alternatives.
– Keep it short and sweet
When utilizing signage as a form of health communication, keep your message brief. Utilize attractive yet relevant visual aids to create a positive message and develop repeat business.
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Have you ever been a customer who felt that your business was not wanted?  Did you feel that the employee providing the service just didn’t care about you or your needs?  Customer service plays a major role in our impressions that determine where we take our business.   Your patients are no different.  Negative patient experiences are a major cause for negative online postings and reviews.  In the challenging and highly-competitive world of healthcare, you can’t afford to lose patients due to customer service issues.  Many more serious issues plague our ability to maintain and increase our patient base in order to have a successful business.  We need to be cautious about who is on our front lines.  Here are three characteristics that all front-line employees should possess:

  • Empathetic:  The staff needs to be given an opportunity to recognize that the roles are often reversed, placing the employee in the shoes of the patient.  How would they want to be treated when unexpected illness falls on them?  Simple caring for fellow human beings will go a great distance to the goal of superior customer service.  Think about how the Golden Rule applies to this one.
  • Good Listener:  This is sometimes a challenging characteristic to display because of how busy your staff may feel.  What is important to remind your staff is that although they may be busy, the patient must feel that the entire attention is devoted to them when they are present.  The employee must make special effort to avoid the ringing phone or the flashing monitor, allowing the patient to feel that they are being listened to and that their situation is the most important topic in the room.  They should spend most of the conversation hearing what the patient is has to say so that there is a true understanding.
  • Happiness is contagious:  Having an employee who is happy and presents this well to others is exactly who you want to represent you and your business in a first-contact, customer service situation.  When you smile, are pleasant to speak with, and have a genuine concern for the patient, they will feel comfortable and the positive experiences will begin.

It is critical necessity in any successful business to promote a superior customer service initiative that reminds the staff, on an ongoing basis, that our patients are our business.  We would not be in business if we didn’t have happy customers.  In addition, for all of the niceness that your staff displays, you may find that your patient base may increase due to other practices’ inability to have a happy staff.

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Collecting out-of-pocket payments in one of the greatest challenges hospitals and practices experience today. A 2010 study reports that approximately 10 percent of practitioner revenues were directly from patients in that year and about 58 percent of all bad debts came from outstanding patient accounts. As out-of-pocket payment is increasingly becoming a large portion of practitioner revenue having the right plan for addressing collections on patient accounts is important to ensuring patient satisfaction and retention. Here are three keys to successfully collecting more from patients without hurting satisfaction:

  1. 1.       Be up-front about what patients owe. Providers need to alter their billing processes so it more closely resembles consumers’ retail transactions. This concept helps the patient to not avoid payment or neglect an account balance. Investing in an effective patient estimation tool allows more accurate calculations of patient services helping both the patient and provider keep better track of funds owed.
  2. 2.       Collect as soon as possible. Many patients are willing to pay their bills sooner than they currently are. Practitioners provide patients with an accurate estimate of their financial responsibility would help eliminate outstanding balances. Setting up a payment plan in advance can also help to collect payment sooner as well as make the billing process less expensive for providers.
  3. 3.       Improve practice workflow. It is important for providers to know how to use their patient information as it can help in effectively altering workflow and processes. Train front-line staff to be effective billing agents and communicators. Take advantage of every patient-provider interaction to provide helpful reminders and exceptional customer care.

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