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The Key to Patient Experience is...

Changing the perceived culture of indifference in care. When CAHPS and other survey tools are provided to patients, they ask patients about the aspects of their experiences that are important to them. In other words, they ask patients to tell us what that individual patient cares about when related to their medical experience.

Many of the questions focus on the communications and interactions between providers, staff and the patient. If the “professionals” are seen to be disengaged, distracted or indifferent, the patient feels neglected, rushed, and under-informed.

Unlike most articles, the purpose of this is not to tell your employees to smile more, though that won’t hurt. It is to look at the visual aspects of your culture and office surroundings and work to add more “optics” that you care.

This can be as easy as painting the office in bright cheer colors, having “welcome” signs in the lobbies, and using flowers, plants and balloons in the offices. But it can also be accomplished digitally.

Take all of your “announcements” that are typically posted around the reception area and add them to a HDTV based education station in your waiting room. It neatens the appearance of the office and puts everything in a usable format that everyone can see without cluttering up the business area of the room.

To go a step further, get rid of all of those outdated posters on the walls and add instructional and engaging videos to drive home the same messages on the same education station. People watch over 100 billion videos on YouTube, why would they want to read your posters on health and wellness. Speak to the patients in their preferred formats.

You can also include the locations and provider profiles of likely referrals. For instance, orthopedic offices can tell the patients where the radiology office, physical therapist and DME providers are located and how to reach them to make an appointment.

When the patient is in their exam room, don’t let them stare at the walls. No one cares where the provider went to school. Instead, hand them a tablet that has tons of information about the reason for their visit. This not only occupies their time, but prepares them to have a real conversation with the provider and team.

After the appointment, send the patient a thank you note with some homework. Include a video or two that reinforces what the provider said and encourage your patients to live healthier. This thank you note is a great place to sneak in your survey. The patient will already feel like you care.

Call a company like Halo Health to help you with this. For less than $10 a day, Halo can set your office up for this success. Call (856-520-8655) or email ( today.

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