How to Boost Patient Satisfaction

November 17, 2011

A big buzzword in radiology currently is patient experience. Many practices have invested in updated machines and staff training to make sure the imaging process goes as smoothly for your patients as possible.

A big buzzword in radiology currently is patient experience. Many practices have invested in updated machines and staff training to make sure the imaging process goes as smoothly for your patients as possible.

But, according to the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA), a fluid appointment in your office doesn’t always guarantee patient satisfaction. Remembering tactics that make your patients happy will positively impact your bottom line - ultimately, your reimbursement depends upon it.

At the RBMA’s Fall Education Conference in October, Tom Saladino, a member of Connecticut’s Institute for Healthcare Communication, highlighted three necessary strategies: treating your patients respectfully, listening to their concerns, and fully explaining what they don’t understand.

Doing these things well, he said, will grow your market share and create a loyal patient base. Success could also give you stronger standing among your nearby competitors. Failure makes you more vulnerable to a lawsuit if your patient is greatly displeased, said Saladino, who is also an American Healthcare Radiology Administrators member.

Training your staff to consider your patients as customers can be one of the most effective ways you can foster patient satisfaction, he said. A smile, eye contact, and being visibly engaged in a conversation can go far toward making patients happy with their time in your office.

And, if a problem with your patient’s visit erupts, don’t shy away from taking responsibility and offering to correct the situation. Saladino recommended apologizing directly, outlining steps to address or fix the issue, and then promise follow up.