Patient Feedback: The Solution to the Patient Experience

October 3, 2019
min read

Key Takeaways

    • Patient Feedback Builds Relationships: Establish a connection between patients and doctors by encouraging feedback, creating a foundation for better communication and relationships.
    • Quality Care Through Feedback: Patient feedback is a crucial tool for ensuring quality healthcare. It allows doctors to understand patient expectations, improve communication, and enhance overall care.
    • Enhanced Patient Engagement: Open communication through feedback fosters patient engagement, reducing errors and improving various aspects of healthcare delivery.
    • Accountability and Improvement: Feedback holds doctors and office staff accountable for their interactions. Honest patient reviews provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the clinic, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
    • Essential for Practice Success: Acknowledging and acting on patient feedback is critical to the success and growth of a healthcare practice. It contributes to constant improvement, innovation, and enhancement of the overall patient experience.

How to Use Patient Feedback to Improve the Patient Experience

Ensuring quality healthcare is the main objective for many health practices. One way to ensure quality healthcare is being delivered is through patient feedback. Patient feedback allows doctors the opportunity to hear from their patients, as well as enable patients to express their thoughts and opinions.

Many factors impact the patient experience. A study shows some of the main factors that affect patient experience are control, communication, and expectations. Fortunately, receiving feedback helps address and mediate these factors. So the question many people might begin to ask is, how? How does feedback improve patient experience?

Feedback Creates a Relationship Between the Patient and the Doctor

Just like in our everyday lives, a relationship is built when we talk to one another. Attaining feedback is not much different. By allowing feedback, the patient and doctor inevitability create a relationship.

One study showed that patients value better communication and relationships than patient safety regarding patient experience. Giving patients the outlet to voice their thoughts and experiences gives them total control over the service they were given. If patients cannot voice their thoughts during their visit, they are still given the opportunity after, thanks to feedback.

Feedback Ensures Quality Care for the Patient

Without a doubt, patients come to doctor’s offices with expectations. Patients often have different reasons ranging from wanting treatment to more information. It can be difficult to figure out what they want. Luckily, feedback allows the expectations of patients to be communicated. As stated earlier, feedback establishes a relationship between the patient and the doctor.

When a relationship is established, it is easier to give quality care because patients are more likely to be open. A patient providing feedback might say it was difficult to understand the treatment they were given. This feedback helps the doctor understand effective and ineffective techniques when explaining treatments.

Feedback allows providers to drive more improvement, leading to more quality care.

Allowing patients to be open also allows for more engagement.

Promoting More Patient Engagement Can Help With Errors

A policy change implemented by the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center proved the relationship between patient engagement and quality care. The policy increased patient engagement, which caused a decrease in medication errors, length of stay, and clinic visits. When errors are corrected and avoided, patients leave happier with the care they were provided.

Feedback Keeps Doctors and Office Staff Accountable

Feedback allows patients to be open and honest about their encounters with staff. Patient and staff communication is important to a patient’s satisfaction.

If patients are unsatisfied with their interaction with a provider’s staff, they can express that experience with feedback. When doctors are given this type of feedback, a sense of urgency is created to improve. Doctors and office staff can then see the types of strengths and weaknesses they bring to the clinic.

Allowing patient feedback can lend exceptional insight into how to improve quality care and the patient experience. If a practice wants to constantly improve and innovate, the best way to do so is through the help of patients.

The patient experience is essential to a practice’s success and growth, regardless of size, specialty, or location.

Patient Feedback FAQs

How can dental practices encourage patients to provide feedback on their experiences effectively?

Dental practices can encourage feedback by providing multiple channels for submissions, such as online surveys, suggestion boxes in-office, and follow-up emails after appointments.

What aspects of the patient experience should dental practices focus on improving based on feedback?

Dental practices should focus on improving aspects like communication during treatment explanations, wait times, appointment scheduling processes, and overall staff professionalism.

How can dental practices ensure that patient feedback is collected consistently to cultivate meaningful improvements?

Ensure consistent feedback collection through automated feedback requests sent after appointments, regular surveys sent via email or text, and staff training on actively seeking feedback during patient interactions.

How can patient feedback enhance communication between staff and patients, ultimately improving patient satisfaction?

Patient feedback can enhance communication by highlighting common areas of miscommunication.

What strategies can practices implement to address negative feedback constructively and turn it into opportunities for improvement and growth?

Practices can address negative feedback constructively by acknowledging concerns, implementing changes based on feedback, and following up with patients to demonstrate commitment to improvement.

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