Are you listening to your patients?
Over the last few weeks, we have noted the importance of listening to your patients as well as what to do with the feedback. In this last part of our series, we will provide tips on measuring your success of process improvements.
Before you can measure the success, review your action plan and the goals you have established. Ask yourself if you implemented all of the action steps. If you have not, it is too early to determine if you have successfully reached your goals.
After you have completed all of the items in your action plan, begin using a measuring system. Here are some key tips to creating and evaluating a measuring system.
Establish a timeframe to compare your level of success. For example, give your practice time to make changes before you begin measuring the level of success. Changes in behaviors and processes do not occur overnight. It takes 60 to 90 days before improvement become a part of daily activity.
Use a system that can capture quantitative results to compare to the original feedback. This can mean utilizing the original survey, sent to different patients. Pay close attention to the responses originally identified as areas of improvement.
Measure your patient base. Have you increased the number of new patients or retained more patients recently? Is this a result of practice improvements? This measurement can difficult because there are many variables that play a role in the number of new and lost patients.
Use mystery patient visits and phone calls as a tool to evaluate practice improvements. Third parties specialize in this type of evaluation and can provide detailed reports to see if there have been improvements in the practice.
Regardless of which method works best for your practice, the importance of this step is to see if action plan changes were made and whether patient satisfaction improved as a result. If the changes were made and patient satisfaction did not improve, it does not necessarily mean that your changes were wrong. It simply means that more evaluation is needed. Are there staff issues that need to be addressed?
Did you give yourself enough time for the improvements to occur and be noticed? Are there further steps that need to be taken to enhance patient satisfaction?
Think of this as a process, not as a chore, to help your practice grow and thrive in this new environment.
This is our final part of the series on listening to your patients. Stay tuned, next week we will discuss how to implement a customer service policy in your practice.
If you have questions about this topic or any other issues around the business of medicine, contact us via email or call us at 800-635-4040.