Whether you work as a physician, nurse, medical technician, hospital administrator, patient advocate, pharmaceutical representative, your professional reputation has a significant impact on your organization’s bottom line.
Professionals are often well-trained in medical skills and knowledge but may be less adept at understanding the importance of their own image and how it affects their patients. Do your medical staff or administrative staff know how significant their impact is on the patients’ experience? Healthcare professionals are often unaware of how their appearance, behavior, communication, and digital footprint affect patients’ decision-making processes, such as which healthcare provider to choose, how to interact with them, and whether they feel comfortable receiving treatment from that particular person or in this facility.
Patient experience refers to how patients interact with the healthcare system and how they perceive the results of their interactions. This is true for patients, family members, and professional caregivers. Even in the veterinary service industry, where pet owners are often referred to as “clients,” the patient experience drives customer satisfaction and loyalty.
A positive patient or client experience encompasses respect, value, and inclusion in the decision-making process. A positive experience is also associated with better health outcomes, lower costs, and increased patient loyalty. The more comfortable and confident patients are with their care team, the more likely they will adhere to their treatment plan and follow through with recommended treatments. It leads to better patient outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, and increased referrals. This means creating an environment that fosters trust, collaboration, and open communication with patients.
On the other hand, a poor patient experience can make patients to feel disrespected, unheard, and unimportant, receive subpar care that doesn’t meet their health goals, making them less likely to recommend a provider or facility to others.
A patient’s first impression of the quality of care they will receive begins when they walk into a healthcare facility (or even earlier, when they research their preferred provider online). Initial thoughts and feelings set the tone for the entire care journey and influence patient satisfaction levels and health outcomes.