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How Patient Satisfaction Surveys Can Boost Your Holistic Practice Performance

SOAP notes are vital for reducing patient risk

How well do you know how your patients experience your holistic practice? Of course, you’re providing the best care for them, but are there metaphorical pain points that you might not know about? By utilizing patient satisfaction surveys, you can open this conversation up between your patients and your holistic practice, resulting in stronger dialogue and better rapport to serve your community even better. 

Charting the course of patient feedback can seem daunting or maybe even awkward, but patient satisfaction is obviously one of your holistic practice’s top priorities—it ensures the short- and long-term success of your practice! Just as your practice is one of the most important resources available to your patients, your patients can be one of your practice’s most important resources, too.

Why Is Patient Feedback Important?

Ultimately, the only way to keep your patients coming back to your holistic practice is to make sure they’re satisfied with the experience they receive from you. That experience is about far more than just the patient-provider relationship and the effectiveness of a given course of care; it includes patients’ perception of your office, their interactions with your staff, and dozens of other factors ranging from scheduling availability to the reading materials in your waiting room.

Don’t assume that just because your patients aren’t complaining, they’re happy. The only way to truly know how satisfied your patients are is to ask them directly and often. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has found that over 80% of practices regularly use patient satisfaction surveys to measure, evaluate, and improve their operations. If you neglect to use patient satisfaction surveys, you’re missing out on a valuable tool that can help you gain insight from your patients and improve your practice’s performance.

The knowledge of your patient’s opinions of their experience in your office is invaluable. It is, in many ways, just as important to the success of the practice as a correct treatment plan is to manage a chronic condition. When used properly, the patient satisfaction survey can truly serve as a diagnostic tool for the practice because patients have the opportunity to indicate points of friction or reveal blind spots of inefficiency in your holistic practice that you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of!

How To Request Patient Reviews

Asking your patients for reviews—whether on a public platform like Google or via anonymous feedback on an internal survey—doesn’t have to be awkward or feel like an imposition for either party. When you initiate the conversation about patient satisfaction, consider the following:

Inquire About Their Experience With Your Practice

For 87% of physicians, interacting with and helping patients is the most gratifying part of their profession; requesting patient reviews can provide you with real-time feedback that can strengthen your patient relationships and help you provide better care.

At the end of the patient’s visit to your holistic practice, try asking questions like “Were you able to easily schedule your appointment today?” or “Have I addressed all of your concerns?” If the feedback is positive, ask them to share their experience with others by writing a review. Take note of any constructive criticism and use it to improve the patient experience at your practice. 

When one patient provides a suggestion for improvement, it’s likely to be helpful to a majority of your patients! For example, if a patient says it would be helpful for the scheduling system to have more filters to narrow down the best appointment time, that might be a small annoyance easily solved which benefits all of your patients.

Remind Yourself That Writing Reviews Is Commonplace

You might feel a little awkward about asking your patients to review your practice, but it’s probably no big deal to them. When consumers are asked to leave a review, 72% follow through and do so. Your patients are likely already reviewing for other businesses in the community, so writing one for your holistic practice won’t be a hassle at all. To get a feel for the process yourself, try writing a few reviews for businesses you frequent to understand the simplicity of the process so you can assure other patients that it isn’t difficult to navigate. 

When you’re confident about the quality of holistic medicine you’re providing, asking patients to review your practice shouldn’t be too nerve-wracking. After all, patients who are asked for feedback are 2.3 times more likely to proactively submit an online review. People—including potential clients doing research on the holistic practices in your area—put a lot of weight in online reviews, so as long as you’re confident in the care you’re providing, don’t second guess yourself about requesting their honest feedback.

Address It All

The most important areas to cover with your survey are the ‘key three’: quality, access, and interpersonal concerns. But going into more general topics can be just as valid, since asking other types of questions can illuminate issues you may not have thought of. Consider including opportunities for feedback about the “non-essential” factors of your holistic practice, such as parking availability, overall office appearance, staff and physician professionalism, and costs.

Keep It Simple

Deliver your survey in the means most likely to get patients to complete it; if your clientele isn’t the most digitally savvy, stick with pen and paper. Try to avoid any instinct to overcomplicate things and be sure to write your surveys with clear, concise language and stick to yes/no options or “How satisfied are you with X?” questions that correlate to 1-5 ratings. Standardizing the range of answers will make data collection and internal assessment easier. Of course, include space for personalized feedback and comments, too.

patient survey

How Patient Satisfaction Surveys Can Boost Your Holistic Practice

Your survey results are useless if you don’t take action on them; don’t waste your patient’s time. Cull new goals and objectives from your survey results—e.g., aim for 10% improvement in a given area by this time next year—and hold yourself accountable for following up.

Plus, your patients will feel validated when they notice you’ve implemented suggested feedback. This further affirms the patient-provider relationship and maintains open communication, which is crucial for patient satisfaction.

The shaping of your holistic practice’s online reputation is happening whether you’re handling it or not. Your prospective patients will make quick assessments about your practice based on the first impressions they get when searching the web, which includes patient reviews!

After all, word of mouth is incredibly important and the first place you will see the impact of this is in the form of online reviews. 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

With these essential basics of patient satisfaction, we’re sure your holistic practice will thrive! Holistic Billing Services is here to help you grow your practice in a variety of ways and has been facilitating the growth of holistic practices since 1999. Contact us today and let us help your holistic practice reach its potential!

October 29, 2021
 - by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME
SOAP notes are vital for reducing patient risk
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