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The Importance of Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare

Gallagher Healthcare :: Industry Insights
By Gallagher Healthcare | 5/8/2018

These days, delivering top-notch medical care involves more than just helping the patient get well — it also encompasses the overall patient experience. Specifically, it's crucial to assess the patients' level of satisfaction with their treatment. Healthcare organizations are taking notice. Several studies indicate ensuring maximum patient satisfaction in their facilities is a top priority of hospital executives throughout the United States.

Why Is Patient Satisfaction Important to Hospitals?

From a business perspective, patient satisfaction matters for several reasons, including:

1. Building Loyalty

In today's ultra-competitive healthcare environment, hospitals must do everything possible to ensure their patients continue to choose them as their medical treatment providers. A satisfied patient is more likely to keep the same hospital than search for another facility.

2. Attracting New Patients

As the old marketing adage goes, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. People who are satisfied with their hospital stay are more likely to tell others about their experience, which can help healthcare facilities to keep new patients coming through the doors.

3. Improving Clinical Outcomes

Studies indicate a direct correlation between patient satisfaction and the effectiveness of treatment. Hospital physicians and staff members who can build trust will increase the likelihood of the patient adhering to their treatment recommendations.

4. Minimizing the Risk of Litigation

Some medical literature indicates patients who are satisfied with the level of care provided by a hospital are less likely to sue if they experience an unsatisfactory clinical outcome.

How to Improve Patient Satisfaction

A few steps you can take to maximize patient satisfaction in healthcare environments include:

Fostering Communication

Physicians and nurses who make an effort to establish rapport, encourage patients to discuss their concerns and ask open-ended questions are more likely to have a positive impact on satisfaction levels. Even something as fundamental as asking patients how they're feeling can have a positive effect on satisfaction.

Reducing Wait Times

A hospital stay is an anxious time for any patient. Extended wait periods are a leading cause of patient dissatisfaction, as waiting tends to increase anxiety levels. Actions such as promptly informing patients of test results and checking on them regularly will make them realize you're not neglecting their care. A simple apology for a late result or visit can placate an apprehensive patient.

Leveraging Technology

Giving patients access to communication devices that enable them to contact staff, interactive education systems that provide information about their care and other user-friendly technologies can increase comfort and enhance their experience.

Providing Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Allowing patients to fill out a satisfaction survey at the end of their stay lets them know you care and appreciate their input. You can also gain valuable feedback you can use to improve the level of care.

Contact Gallagher Healthcare for Your Medical Malpractice Insurance Needs

Understanding why patient satisfaction is essential in the healthcare industry is beneficial, but it will mean little if you don't take steps to improve satisfaction at your facility. And while 100-percent happiness is the goal, this milestone is challenging to achieve.

Gallagher Healthcare provides comprehensive medical malpractice insurance products that can protect you in the event of legal action. Contact us to learn more today.
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