Patients are consumers – they have similar customer service expectations as they would for other industries. When it comes to selecting a physician, someone who they entrust with their health, the patient experience delivered is key – and it starts online. Ignoring your online patient reviews evokes the same feeling as hanging up on someone during a customer support call. Healthcare providers must take this into account when deciding on a strategy to improve the patient experience and ultimately impact revenue.
Patient Experience= Revenue.
Organizations providing “superior” patient experience achieve net margins 50 percent higher than those providing “average” patient experience. This makes it vital for organizations to evaluate the entire continuum of the patient experience.
Healthcare as a service industry proves that focusing on patient experience can increase profitability and prevent the need to cut costs. Organizations earning $2 billion in revenue can achieve a 2.3 percent margin benefit by improving patient experience, which is the same benefit organizations would see if they were to cut 460 jobs.
Ratings from patient surveys like HCAHPS also impact revenue. Hospitals with higher patient ratings saw a net margin of 4.7 percent compared to hospitals with poor ratings seeing just 1.8 percent net margin. Without a culture of putting patients first, hospitals will not meet their HCAHPS or revenue goals.
The Value of Patient Loyalty.
Improving patient loyalty and decreasing patient churn can significantly increase an organization’s revenue. Increasing retention rates by 5 percent can increase profits by twenty-five to ninety-five percent. It is also more cost effective to focus on loyalty – patient acquisition efforts cost five times more than efforts to secure existing patients.
How to Create a Profitable Experience.
- Create a culture around patient experience. To improve patient experience, create a patient-centric culture, focusing on principles of compassion, service quality and excellent patient experience. Organizations should provide their staff with the tools and communication strategies needed to create standardized best practices that become part of the fabric of how they provide care every day.
- Adopt new strategies. As new trends continuously evolve in healthcare, make sure your organization stays on top by finding new, more effective ways to address your patients’ needs using new technologies that go beyond the traditional care.
- Listen and engage your patients. Improve service recovery by listening and quickly responding to patient concerns. Immediate resolution to a patient’s negative experience can potentially change a patient’s mind about whether to return to your practice.
- Analyze and report patient feedback. Use patient feedback data to identify trends within your organization that can help pinpoint areas of improvement. Share feedback with department heads and teams, so they know what’s going well and what needs to be addressed.
- Drive patient acquisition. Leverage your patient survey data by publishing patient verified reviews and comments onto your organization’s physician profile pages. This will improve SEO ranking and drive more traffic to your website over third-party review sites.
Implementing a strategy to improve patient loyalty and satisfaction will ultimately drive your organization’s growth and revenue.
To learn how industry leaders are creating a profitable patient experience for their organization, contact us today.
About the Author
Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.