An overwhelming amount of evidence has shown that better health outcomes occur when patients are actively engaged in their care plan. While this might seem like an obvious statement, keeping patients engaged can be challenging. What can your ASC do to make sure patients are active participants in their care?
Use technology at every step
In many industries, the concept of “the last mile” refers to those challenging moments at the end of an interaction, such as making a sale or gaining a new customer. In healthcare, this pivotal last mile is about keeping patients engaged. Whether it’s the pre-op instructions, instructions for the day of surgery, or the post-op care plan, patients need to be active participants in their healthcare, or their care won’t be effective.
An old marketing slogan states that people need to hear a message at least seven times before they will change their behavior. If the physician’s care instructions count as hearing the message once, how can you ensure that patients hear those same instructions at least six more times? Use a mix of technology solutions to reiterate the same messages multiple ways—through email, text, and video message. A patient portal is another excellent solution for handing patients direct access to their care plan. In many cases, patients can even use their health portal to submit questions directly to their care provider.
Soliciting feedback is a crucial part of improvement. Within a day of any procedure, send your patients a satisfaction survey. Making these surveys timely, accessible, and quick is critical to ensuring that patients fill them out. If a patient doesn’t fill out the survey right away, create a clear plan for follow-up so that patients don’t forget.
That said, surveys are meaningless if your ASC doesn’t do anything with the feedback you collect. By streamlining surveys online, you can collect and analyze data digitally. Some common patient complaints include long wait times or having to repeat health information over and over. When you see patterns in these surveys, this information empowers your ASC to make changes that benefit your patients and lead to higher satisfaction rates.
Communicate changes early
From the cost of a surgery to schedule changes to new COVID-19 protocols, patients just want to know what to expect. Communicating changes early is a no-brainer for increasing your patient satisfaction. However, early communication can also lower your rate of cancellations and no-shows. Again, the seven-message rule applies. Start communicating in as much advance as possible so that you have time to send reminders in multiple forms of communication. When everyone is on the same page, your ASC is guaranteed to run more smoothly.
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