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Five Reasons Why Patient Feedback is Important

Five Reasons Why Patient Feedback is Important

Over the years, patients have had to increasingly bear medical expenses from their own pockets. The result: more and more patients are getting actively involved in the healthcare they receive. Thanks to rising healthcare costs, insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, patients and their families are looking for more bang for their buck.
And dissatisfied patients are more than happy to leave one healthcare provider for another.

Patient feedback can help you connect with your patients. Instead of your patients simply walking away, their feedback allows you to fix the issues they faced and improve their patient experience. But the importance patient feedback goes much further.  

Here’s a look at some of the reasons patient feedback is important.

For Improving the Patient Experience

The best way to understand how your patients experience care at your healthcare facility is to ask them. Often your patients will not tell you their opinions unless you ask for feedback. If you don’t address patient issues, you run the risk of losing patients.

Patient feedback can help you address dissatisfied customers.

  • Track patient feedback by respondents in your feedback app to identify individual issues.
  • Analyze individual responses in your feedback app and answers to multiple-choice questions.
  • Compare their feedback over time to see changes in patient satisfaction.

This is the first step to improved patient experiences.

When you regularly ask for and respond to patient feedback, you can engage your patients. With regular responses and follow-ups, your patients will gain confidence that they are being heard.

You’ll also be able to make patient care more personalized by using patient feedback.

For Improving the Quality of Care

The true success of a healthcare provider is in the quality of care they provide. Thanks to well-designed patient feedback surveys and processes, you can identify gaps in patient care and improve quality of care, increase patient engagement and retention.

  • Ask for specific patient feedback.
  • Take feedback from patients on everything:
    • Appointment scheduling
    • Wait times
    • Doctor’s bedside manner
    • Thoroughness
    • Professionalism
    • Communication
    • And more
  • Analyze the survey responses in your feedback app to identify issues patients commonly face.

England’s National Health Service (NHS) recognizes the role of patient feedback in improving quality of care. Particularly, feedback from patients can help you understand the patient experiences of the most vulnerable – the elderly, the disabled and children. These patients are often at higher risk of neglect.

You can also use feedback from patients to identify gaps at transition points between healthcare services. Over time, you can create processes and improvements that bridge those gaps.  

For Benchmarking

Patient feedback is great for understanding where you stand in comparison to other healthcare providers. Analyze satisfaction surveys in your feedback app to get a patient satisfaction rating. Compare your ratings against other healthcare providers. You can also use feedback as a benchmark to assess improvements over time.

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) use patient feedback data for exactly this. Practices in their patient-centered oncology group use feedback to compare themselves against other practices within the group and outside. They are also able to compare individual physicians to the entire practice.

The group has used two patient surveys to benchmark certain processes. They will then reassess these processes with a third survey. They also use patient feedback to extract deeper insights into weaknesses.

For Increasing Revenue

Insurance payers increasingly use the patient experience as a metric to determine quality of care from a healthcare provider. Which, in turn, affects the way contractual agreements between payers and providers are structured. Quality of care is an essential criterion under value-based payment models.  

However, acting on patient feedback helps you improve your bottom line in an even more direct way. When you use feedback from patients to improve the patient experience, you increase the chances of patients returning to you instead of switching to other providers.

For Reducing Patient Leakage and Increasing Patient Retention

Patient feedback can help improve patient retention and reduce patient leakage. 

When you act on feedback from patients, you can improve the patient experience significantly. We’ve already established that patient feedback can help you improve the quality of care. But specific patient feedback can also help you make the patient experience personalized. You, as a healthcare provider, can reduce patient leakage at gaps in care – and improve patient retention.

Patients satisfied with their care are more likely to build a stronger relationship with their providers – and return.

In Conclusion

The healthcare environment is becoming increasingly complex. Government and private payers look to reduce costs and providers face increasing competition. Procuring and retaining patients is essential for you as a healthcare provider – and patient feedback plays a crucial role here.

A well-structured patient feedback system in place can help you collect crucial patient opinion. A comprehensive, easy-to-use feedback app can help you analyze patient feedback and extract useful insight. Sign up for a 15-day free trial of Zonka’s feedback app or request a demo today. Start using patient feedback to improve your quality of care now.

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