1/24/2018

The Secret to Creating the Most Satisfied Patients

Healthwise Patient Education Team

Editor’s Note: Controlling costs and increasing revenue are crucial keys to meeting fiscal goals and providing quality care. In this blog series, we’ll look at how patient education can help lower readmissions, reduce ED overutilization, and generate revenue. In this post you’ll learn new ways to satisfy your patients.

Why does patient satisfaction matter? It’s more apparent than ever that keeping patients satisfied is a major key to fiscal stability for health systems, hospitals, and provider groups.

Patients who are more satisfied are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and maintain their relationships with their healthcare providers. Studies also show that patient satisfaction can have profound effects on an organization’s financial health—dissatisfied patients are less likely to pay their bills on time, are less loyal, and are less likely to recommend you to a friend or family member.

doctor talking to patient


The secret: Patient education

A recent study conducted by The Cleveland Clinic revealed what matters most to patients. Listed at the top: being treated with respect and receiving information from staff. Using patient education during your interactions with patients helps you give them what they say is most important.

Every interaction you have with a patient is an opportunity to raise the level of satisfaction they feel. When you build compassionate, respectful, collaborative relationships with your patients, you’re also working toward better financial stability for your business.

3 ways to use patient education to create satisfying experiences

  1. Really listen to your patients, find out what they know about their condition, and use patient education to fill in the gaps or correct misinformation. This leads to better understanding—a crucial component in determining the best decisions for your patients.
    • Encourage patients to ask questions and provide education to help patients understand their treatment options.
    • Find out what challenges patients face when it comes to seeking care and managing their health.
  2. Use education to help engage patients in their health. Patients have better outcomes when they understand their conditions, the treatment, and what that treatment will do for them.
    • Patient education that comes in a variety of formats—such as videos, handouts, or interactive tools—helps patients remember more of the information they need.
    • Provide education in ways that work best for patients. Some people like reading printed material, while others prefer a mobile device to get the information they need.
    • Foster long-term care relationships by emphasizing the importance of ongoing and follow-up care. Schedule any follow-up appointments and phone calls before the patient leaves your office or the facility.
  3. Empower patients to help care for themselves. Use education to help patients learn things like how to develop healthy habits and how to manage chronic conditions. Involving patients in their care improves outcomes and lowers costs.
    • Give patients health information they can easily understand—free from jargon and complicated language.
    • Offer tools like risk calculators and symptom checkers to help patients know where they stand.
    • Provide practical tips for specific goals like lowering blood pressure. Suggest tools that will help people track their progress toward their goals.

Want to know more?

Read our eBrief, Generating Revenue and Controlling Costs—The Hidden Talents of Patient Education, for more information on how patient education can help you keep patients satisfied and meet your critical fiscal goals.

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