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Forget Customer Satisfaction, Patient Satisfaction Steps Into the Spotlight

Updated: Jun 20, 2018

The repercussions go much deeper than just bad Yelp reviews

Part 1 of 2

Moving to New Metrics

We’ve been talking about customer satisfaction for years—entire industries have been built to help retailers use technology-- all with the goal of delivering better customer experiences. It’s an accepted truth that positive experiences have real benefits to the bottom line. Engaged shoppers buy more stuff, spend more time in stores (which makes them buy more stuff[1]) and are more likely to share their positive experience on social media. ( More on that to come in Part 2)

Experience and satisfaction are heralded as the answers to all that ails retail and companies are making those investments. In an industry hemorrhaging from virtually every contact point with their customer, it certainly feels like the answer to many of the afflicted. Empirical data suggests It directly impacts customer satisfaction. And that investment generates a quantifiable return.

For healthcare in general, the shift started in 2012 when Medicare began withholding 1 percent of its payments to hospitals to form a bonus pool for institutions that score above average on patient satisfaction measures.

That particular 1 percent became a tipping point for the rise in importance of patient satisfaction in healthcare. We will continue to see the repercussions from that program for years to come.

It Comes Down to Time

For healthcare, the number of failure points that contribute to satisfaction are reduced. After all, product selection, merchandising and pricing aren’t generally in the sphere of healthcare today. There is, however, one major factor and it shows up consistently in studies on patient satisfaction: time. In conflicting reports[2], either reduction in overall wait times or increased time spent with providers increase patient satisfaction. We think they are two sides of the same issue.

According to Sara Heath at Patient Engagement HIT, extra time spent in the waiting or exam room comes down to clunky registration processes or overscheduling and administrator oversights.[3]

We completely agree with Sara. Administrators are incredibly busy, there are numerous competing interrupters fighting for attention. It happens; things get lost in the hustle and bustle.

Her answer? Put a sign in the lobby asking patients to check back if they’ve waiting for 20 minutes or more.

There has to be a better way to produce more consistent patient experiences, especially as it relates to waiting, without pushing ownership of the breakdown to the patient.

Busy clinics already have their hands full—they don’t need more technology, especially that adds unnecessary steps to their existing processes. And that’s where Apprisio can help. The system keeps track of patients on the exam room track and makes sure the right resource is automatically updated with any change in status. Information-rich signs in the hallway use symbols and colors to communicate patient status to the entire team.

And, every step of the journey updates our database so we know how the clinic is performing in real time. Find out how long patients are waiting for a doctor or care partner, how long they’re spending in your exam rooms, when the bottlenecks are happening and more importantly, why.

So now, patient wait less, providers can spend more time with them as the information needed to better manage their workflow is at their fingertips.

Better patient experiences, better resource utilization and a more efficient clinic--all with the touch of a button.

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