The importance of improving patient access
At first blush, reading about the importance of providing an exemplary patient access experience may seem unnecessary – of course you strive to meet that goal. However, when juggling multiple priorities with increasingly limited resources, practice leaders may question the value of constantly measuring and improving the patient access experience. We’re here to tell you that your patient’s access to your practitioners is not only important; it’s crucial.
Here are the biggest risks of a patient having poor access to your practice:
1. Unhappy patients are less healthy Making your patients happy is an important outcome in its own right, but research suggests there are clinical benefits to patients having a high quality healthcare experience (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). Patients who report better experiences with their providers are better at self-managing chronic disease, adhering to healthcare plans and have better health outcomes. 2. Practices lose business We all know it’s true – when we feel exceedingly disappointed with the service we receive, the simple solution is to look elsewhere for that service in the future. This is especially true in the healthcare space, where people expect consistent, quality care from their medical providers and are much less forgiving when those expectations are not met. Why continue to endure a negative experience when you could simply seek care elsewhere? 3. Word gets out This risk can be particularly painful in the Age of Information, where most everyone has internet access and over 70% of people searching for a new doctor look up online reviews before deciding on a provider (Source: Reputation, Inc.). When prospective patients are researching new doctors, you want your patients’ reviews to sing your praises and set you apart from your competitors. Word of mouth is just as powerful as ever, too – happy patients will serve as brand ambassadors, and you’ll be sure to eventually see their family and friends walking through your doors. 4. Practices lose revenue This one is a result of points #2 and #3, but it’s an important one to note. Ultimately, losing patients and referrals will damage your bottom line. In addition to this, you’ll need to spend on marketing and better training for your staff to attempt to mitigate the damage done. Just like doctors say – the best cure is prevention. 5. Increased staff burnout We all know happiness is contagious, but you are also ensuring your staff feel fulfilled and happy with their jobs when the patients they interact with everyday are pleasant and satisfied. Your practice is really about your patients, so keeping them happy is keeping your staff happy. It’s the key to a supportive, inclusive and positive workplace culture – something challenging to attain, particularly when medical staff are dealing with post-COVID burnout.
Are your patients getting the care they deserve? We know right now is a challenging time for medical practices everywhere, particularly when it comes to staffing. ptSource’s patient access centers eliminate these woes with our highly skilled specialists who offer excellent patient care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year via phone, email or text – we’re there for your patients whenever they want, however they want. Contact us to learn more about how we can elevate your practice’s patient experience.