Doctor communicating with a patient for the best patient experience

Using patient feedback to build a sustainable practice

As a healthcare provider, your primary goal is to provide quality care to your patients. However, in order to run a successful health practice, it’s also important to maintain a financially sustainable business model. One way to achieve this is by using patient feedback to improve your service and attract more patients.

Patient feedback can provide valuable insights into what your practice is doing well and where it can improve. By listening to your patients and making changes based on their feedback, you can improve your patient’s level of satisfaction in your service, which can lead to increased patient retention and referrals.

Here are some ways to use patient feedback to build a sustainable practice:

Conduct patient feedback surveys

One of the best ways to get feedback from your patients is to undertake patient feedback surveys. Asking for feedback can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through email. Or you can undertake a feedback survey using a Patient Report Experience Measures (PREMs) tool such as Active Insights by CFEP Surveys. You can ask patients about their overall experience, communication with staff, their care experience and more.

Use the feedback you receive to make improvements to your practice. For example, if patients consistently refer to long wait times, you may need to adjust your scheduling system or hire additional staff to help with patient flow.

Respond to patient feedback promptly

When patients provide feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, it’s important to respond promptly. This shows that you value their input and are committed to making improvements to your practice.

If a patient provides negative feedback, take the time to listen to their concerns and offer a sincere apology. It is not always possible to work directly with your patient when they leave feedback – sometimes they may leave a negative review online, for example. But if you can, work with them directly to find a solution that meets their needs. By resolving issues promptly and professionally, you are not only providing an excellent level of care, but you can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

We’ve created the Responding to Patient Feedback Cheat Sheet to help you.

Use patient feedback to make data-driven decisions

Patient feedback can provide valuable data that can help you make informed decisions about your health service. For example, if patients consistently complain about the quality or the state of your waiting room, you may need to invest in a design refresh for your waiting room to improve patient experience.

By using patient feedback to guide your decisions, you can make changes that are more likely to have a positive impact on how the patient feels about the experience with your service. This not only builds loyalty with individual patients but they are also likely to share their experience with friends and family – and potentially in online reviews. Ensuring patients have a positive experience with your service means you are more likely to retain those existing patients and through them potentially attract new patients which will ultimately lead to increased revenue and a more financially sustainable practice.

Use patient feedback to market your health service

Positive patient feedback can be a powerful marketing tool. Consider asking happy patients to provide testimonials that you can use on your website and in other materials.

By showcasing positive feedback from satisfied patients, you can attract new patients who are looking for high-quality care from a trusted provider.

Critically, don’t forget your responsibilities to ensure patient confidentially when using patient feedback that you and your organisation have received to demonstrate that your practice has a history of providing high-quality care.

You may like to read this article from The Conversation for additional information:  Soon Australian doctors will be allowed to advertise with patient testimonials.

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