Evaluating the health care experience

Last time, we uncovered what information Angie’s List members look for most when evaluating health care professionals, which included:

  • Types of insurance accepted.
  • Convenience to home or work.
  • Other patient reviews.
  • Credentials, licensing and certifications.

While these are important factors in determining which provider to schedule an appointment with, the actual experience patients have within the practice doors help influence their opinions and reviews of health care professionals.

Based on Angie’s List member responses, the top five things they found to be most important while evaluating their health care experiences were:

Effectiveness of treatment

When patients come in with ailments they want to feel better fast. After examining the patient and providing a treatment plan, offer to have your staff follow up a few days later to check up on the patient’s progress.

Provider communication

Sometimes a diagnosis is simple. Other times, not so much. But maintaining open communication with patients is one way of educating them and helping them heal. According to the Institute for Healthcare Communication, a health care provider’s “ability to explain, listen and empathize can have a profound effect on biological and functional health outcomes as well as patient satisfaction and experience of care.”

Scheduling availability

Having multiple options for scheduling appointments is becoming more important for patients, especially those always on the go. Online scheduling is a great way for patients who are glued to their computers to request an appointment time. Even having an after-hours voice mail set up allows patients to leave their information so you can get back to them in the morning with any open appointments.

Beside manner

Good bedside manner is one that reassures patients they are in the right care. Remain honest while keeping the patient calm and letting him or her know that you have their best interests at heart.

Waiting room time/provider punctuality

Sometimes you cannot control the amount of patients you see in one day. There could be unexpected emergencies that you have to tend to or maybe there is an influx in walk-in patients on a particular day. When this happens make sure to let everyone know if you are running late, the reason why and how long the current wait is.

Depending on the experience and satisfaction levels, one of these five factors can become the drive behind a review a patient leaves about you on Angie’s List.