Tips for keeping your patients happy at independent practices

As an independent physician, your focus is on providing the quality care your patients need to stay healthy. You also want to keep your patients happy, for their own well-being as well as for the success of your practice.

Once patients find a provider that they are comfortable with, they tend to stay with that provider, at least for awhile. Studies have found that “49% of patients stay with their doctor for five years or more,” especially when they have that comfort level.

Some tips to help you in your efforts to keep your patients happy include:

  • Communicate: Patients want to have their questions answered, not only during the visit but also afterward. When they have the option to ask questions and to receive additional explanations via an electronic communication tool, they tend to be happier with their provider.
  • Train office staff on customer service skills: Patients who are greeted and welcomed appropriately tend to feel more comfortable with the practice in general. Particularly when the patient has billing questions or needs to schedule additional appointments, a well-trained office staff can make a huge difference.
  • Create and maintain a helpful website: Patients and potential patients often refer to a practice’s website for information regarding the practice staff, operating hours, qualifications, and other relevant data. Making the information accessible and relevant will keep patients happy.
  • Optimize the use of electronic health records (EHRs): An EHR system that provides patient with a portal through which they can access their visit summaries, medications, reports, and more online can help make patients happy with the provider and with the practice. The portal gives patients access to their critical health information – allergies, problems, history, current medications, immunizations, legal and specialists, for sharing with other clinicians who would find it helpful to facilitate care.
  • Focus on the details: As an independent physician focused on providing value-based care, you and your staff can offer patients the highest quality experience, starting with a clean, orderly, and inviting practice office, continuing through to follow-up communication and detailed attention to your patients’ well-being.