The patient experience is a critical factor in the success of any healthcare practice, and its importance is increasing with the rise of health care consumerism.
When considering the 'heath' of a medical practice, much of the focus is on financial indicators: missing collections at the time of service, recurring denials, poor claims management, and aging patient balances. However, there is another area needing attention that is often overlooked: patient satisfaction.
The patient experience is a critical factor in the success of any healthcare practice, and its importance is increasing with the rise of health care consumerism. Studies also show a direct correlation between patient experience and profitability. For example, positive patient experience is associated with increased profitability, and a negative patient experience is even more strongly associated with decreased profitability.1
The link to clinical outcomes is the reason why patient satisfaction has become an important and more frequently used measurement to help access healthcare quality. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also tied Medicare reimbursements to patient satisfaction scores, making these metrics even more of a priority.
The shift to value-based care and the consumerization of health care has been increasing for years, the COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on the patient experience. However, as individuals re-evaluated the ways in which they have consumed and received healthcare, and overall, how their preferred providers have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Accenture’s “COVID-19 Consumer Health Experience Survey 2020,” 25% of patients who believe their provider is handling COVID-19 poorly say they will not seek further care from the practice – or will wait at least a year until doing so. More concerning, perhaps, is that 64% of patients say they will likely switch providers if their expectations are not met.2
How providers respond to these changing demands and expectations will make or break their financial recovery and future success.
The stakes are high for providers to deliver an exemplary patient experience. If your practice is not already doing so, it’s time to put a stronger emphasis on the patient’s satisfaction.
Here are 5 strategies that can help your practice deliver a positive patient experience and set the foundation for improved financial performance: