4 Lessons in Patient Satisfaction Through Customer Service

Patient satisfaction can be an obstacle for healthcare at large. With lives on the line, it may seem that how happy a patient is should be a secondary concern. However, high patient satisfaction improves the healthcare experience, brings patients back and may even improve clinical outcomes. A Forbes contributor shares four lessons about patients as customers to improve patient satisfaction:

1. Patients don't stop being consumers when they put on a hospital gown. Hospitals should compare performance to service-based industries, as this is inevitably how patients will experience their care.

2. Fix hellos and goodbyes. The first and last moments of interactions are the most important for what a patient will remember. Ensure frontline staff are friendly, signs and services are easy to decipher and patients are kept informed at all times.

3. Everyone should know how to apologize. Empathize, side with the patient, and get rid of defensiveness, regardless of what the "rationality" of the situation may be.

4. Ensure employees understand their purposes. Day-to-day responsibilities and purposes are very different. How daily responsibilities connect with actions may assist employees in providing better customer service and increasing patient satisfaction.

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