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Patient Feedback: The Solution to 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 allow patients to express their thoughts and opinions.

There are many factors that impact the patient experience. A study shows some 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 life, when we talk to one another a relationship is built. 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 when it comes to patient experience. Giving a patient the outlet to voice their thoughts and experiences gives them total control over the service they were given. If patients were unable to voice their thoughts during their visit, they are still given the opportunity after, thanks to feedback.

Feedback ensures quality care for the patient.
It is without a doubt patients come to doctor offices with expectations. Patients will often have different reasons ranging from wanting treatment to just wanting more information. It can be difficult to figure out what they want. Luckily, feedback allows the expectation of patients to be communicated. As stated earlier, feedback establishes a relationship between the patient and 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 become aware about what techniques were effective and ineffective when explaining treatments. Feedback allows providers to drive more improvement, which will lead to more quality care.

More so, allowing patients to be open also allows for more engagement. When you allow for more patient engagement, it can help in 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 the encounters they had with staff. Patient and staff communication is important to a patient’s satisfaction. If a patient was not satisfied with the interaction they had with a provider’s staff, they are able to 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 are then able to see the types of strengths and weaknesses they bring to the clinic.

Allowing patient feedback can lend exceptional insight to 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 the success and growth of a practice no matter what the size, specialty, or location is.

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