The Patient Experience: Everything Starts Here

What are the characteristics of today’s patient? What are their expectations? How can health practices fulfil those expectations?

The answer to all these questions lies in understanding the patient experience. In the past five years, the health industry has transformed due to new growing trends such as greater access to healthcare and advances in technology. As healthcare usage continues to increase, this puts greater stress on practitioners to analyze their overall patient experience to get ahead of the competition.  

Main Content

The Patient Experience: Everything Starts Here

Oct 3, 2018

The Patient Experience: Everything Starts Here

What are the characteristics of today’s patient? What are their expectations? How can health practices fulfil those expectations?

The answer to all these questions lies in understanding the patient experience. In the past five years, the health industry has transformed due to new growing trends such as greater access to healthcare and advances in technology. As healthcare usage continues to increase, this puts greater stress on practitioners to analyze their overall patient experience to get ahead of the competition.

What is the patient experience?

In short, the patient experience covers how patients seek and receive care. Examples can include timely appointments, easy access to information and good communication. The best way to understand the patient experience is putting yourself in your patients’ shoes–how would you expect to be treated when you go to the doctor or dentist? The patient experience reminds practitioners that there is an emotional component when individuals are seeking care. And a positive patient experience creates an active, engaged patient.

Patient Experience Touchpoints

The patient journey has 6 key touchpoints that can have an enormous impact on your practice: prior to the visit, waiting area reception, examination room, examination, check-out and follow-up care.

According to research at PwC Health Research Institute, patients are expecting the same type of service from their practitioner as they would from a bank, hotel or airline. This is called Consumerism Effect where individuals have high expectations for basic events. Examples of these types of expectations include:

The ability to quickly schedule an appointment.

My doctor listens to me and gives me answers I understand.

I feel heard and respected by my dentist and their staff.

My veterinarian knows my pet’s history.

I get timely reminders and follow-ups.

When a patient is engaged, it means they had a great experience. A great experience leads to patient satisfaction and patient satisfaction has an enormous impact on your practice.

What is Patient Satisfaction?

Different from the patient experience, patient satisfaction gives providers valuable insights into the effectiveness of care and their patient’s level of understanding. In other words, patient satisfaction is the result of the patient experience. Improving patient satisfaction has become one of the primary goals for health practitioners because it’s linked to patient retention and sometimes even reimbursement claims. Here are the top reasons why patient satisfaction is important to the success of your practice:

  • Higher patient satisfaction = greater practice profitability. According to U.S. industry estimates, loss of a patient due to dissatisfaction can result in the loss of over $200,000 over the lifetime of a practice.
  • Improved patient retention. Happy customers come back and refer others. As the cost of patient acquisition rises, retaining existing patients can end up saving your practice money.
  • Sharing the experience. Research says that satisfied patients share their experience with five others while unsatisfied patients will complain to nine or more people. Online reviews are on the rise and your practice’s experience–good or bad–have the potential to be seen by many people.
  • Improved compliance. According to a Study in Academic Medicine, patients who trust their doctors have better clinical outcomes.

A flawless patient experience leads to higher patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction can then positively impact your practice. It can even reduce staff turnover, improvement in collections and greater efficiencies across the board. Patient-centered service and an understanding of what it takes to get there, can make your practice unstoppable.

For more information on healthcare payment processing, request a free quote now.

1 Experience Radar 2012, Consumer insights for the US healthcare payer industry, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/advisory/customer-impact/assets/pwc-experience-radar-healthcare-payer.pdf

2 Patient Satisfaction,   Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047732/

3 What the Evidence Shows About Patient Activation: Better Health Outcomes And Care Experiences; Fewer Data on Costs,  Health Affairs, https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1061

Contact Us
About Our
Merchant Services

Get your Free Quote, Now!

After you have submitted your information, a TSYS representative will contact you.

All fields are required to submit form. Your information is private and secure. We do not accept adult businesses

Customer Support Form