3 Reasons Patient Satisfaction is More Important Than Ever
It goes without saying that the goal of any healthcare provider is to achieve positive outcomes for their patients. While the benefits to the patient are obvious – improved health and increased overall happiness, just to name a couple big ones – patient satisfaction is also tremendously significant for your practice itself.
In this post, we'll take a look at three major reasons why patient satisfaction is important to your business, along with some ideas for how to improve the patient experience and drive positive outcomes for patients and providers alike.
1. Patient Retention & ROI
You probably already know that satisfied patients are more likely to stay with your practice, but why does that matter? First, consider the high costs associated with recruiting new patients, from advertising to administrative time spent coordinating appointments and setting up billing. Each of these steps contributes to your overhead, which cuts into your bottom line. When you retain an existing patient, on the other hand, you can focus on providing care (and billing for it) without the effort and expense of recruitment and onboarding.
Second, patient retention makes you more competitive in the marketplace. Today’s savvy patients are consumers first, which means they approach their relationship with healthcare providers much like they do with any other business. If you have an existing patient who isn’t satisfied with your care, they are more likely to move to another provider. This means not only that you've lost a customer, but now you also have to invest in replacing them. By contrast, a happy patient is not just more likely to stay with your practice, but may also refer new business to you. This has the dual benefit of increasing your patient base while doing so via word-of-mouth marketing – and most valuable kind there is.
2. Improved Patient Outcomes
Research indicates that satisfied patients experience better outcomes overall. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Managed Care, higher patient satisfaction correlated to a reduced risk of readmission within 30 days of discharge. Additionally, a 2010 study published in Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes revealed that high patient satisfaction resulted in improved adherence to guidelines and lower mortality rates. As a care provider, one of your goals is to identify how to improve the overall patient experience. As the evidence shows, ensuring patients are satisfied can be an important step toward successful treatment of patients in your practice.
3. Positive Staff
Happy patients help to create a happy staff. When your satisfied patients are confident that you’re providing the best care in a clean, safe and welcoming environment, they’ll treat the staff with well-deserved gratitude and respect. This positive relationship can feed morale among your staff, which can improve performance and drive further patient satisfaction. As a result, it's important to view steps you make toward improving patient satisfaction as being part of a cyclical pattern that reinforces itself. Simply put, the entire practice benefits when you’re working with satisfied patients.
Patient satisfaction helps your practice achieve its financial goals, maximizes patient health and can improve staff morale – a win-win-win for everyone. At ServiceMaster Clean, we partner with healthcare providers to create happy patients by guaranteeing an inviting and sanitary environment from the waiting room to the exam rooms. Learn more about our commercial environmental services for healthcare, which can help you maximize patient satisfaction and, in turn, your practice’s success.