Feature June 9, 2021 John Bernot, MD

The secret ingredient to mastering patient satisfaction and accelerating patient referrals

Learn how effective communication can improve patient satisfaction scores and drive referral business for your orthopedic practice.

The secret ingredient to mastering patient satisfaction

72% of patients choose a physician based on word-of-mouth and 70% for reputation.1 

While surgical outcomes are important, overall patient satisfaction can make or break the financial health of your orthopedic practice. 

As the consumerization of healthcare and personalized online experiences in other industries change patient expectations, physician practices must keep pace with consumer demands. 

More effective and efficient communication that delivers the right information at the right time has the power to transform the perioperative patient experience and significantly increase patient satisfaction. 

Patient satisfaction is key to positive word-of-mouth that drives referral business and improves retention for your practice. 

Communication is essential to patient satisfaction

You can do everything right in the operating room and still receive low patient satisfaction scores. 

The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey (OAS CAHPS) measure communication as a key component of patient satisfaction. 

OAS CAHPS evaluates:

  • Preparedness for the surgery or procedure
  • Check-in processes
  • Cleanliness of the facility 
  • Communications with the facility staff
  • Discharge from the facility
  • Preparation for recovering at home
  • Information received about what to do if they had possible side-effects during their recovery

Efficient and effective pre- and post-op communication that ensures patients are ready for surgery the day of and understand recovery protocols once they return home is the cornerstone of patient satisfaction. 

Focus on patient communication needs

How and when your patients receive communications is just as important as the information you share with them. 

Your patients can easily feel overwhelmed by the pre-op care plan they receive, leading to same-day cancellations and no-shows. This confusion also contributes to an environment in which they don’t see themselves as part of the care team. 

Here are three ways your practice can communicate better with patients for increased engagement and task adherence: 

  1. Automated messages delivered via your patient’s preferred method of communication
  2. Personalized information that addresses their specific condition
  3. Easy-to-use digital health tools that allow for two-way interaction

Making your patients feel part of their own care team via active communications is one way to increase patient satisfaction scores. 

Drive referral business and increase patient retention

Implementing innovations in communication and technology have been found to increase patient satisfaction significantly.2 

Your orthopedic practice can’t afford to overlook the connection between effective communication and patient satisfaction scores when designing a strategy to drive referrals and improve patient retention. 

Learn how investing in a virtual perioperative assistant to improve patient satisfaction scores can accelerate patient referrals for your practice.

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