Your practice is your home away from home. And just like at home, practices can experience problems, struggles, and even rifts. Unfortunately, problems at the practice can lead to big financial losses. Studies show that healthcare turnover leads to financial losses in the tens of thousands of dollars each year. This can really kill the bottom line. Unfortunately, the costs don't stop there. There are hidden costs as well. Not only do you have to spend the time and money recruiting and hiring new team members, you may lose patients as well. Patient satisfaction falls when there is disarray in the office. The difficulties of finding new patients can be just as costly.
Patients Crave Continuity
Humans are creatures of comfort. We like to know what to expect out of our lives. Each day, we order the same latte, take the same route to work, listen to the same music, and watch the same television shows. When we are headed to our doctor or dentist or eye doctor, there is comfort in knowing who will be sitting behind the front desk. Visiting the doctor is not typically the most exciting event of the day. Who wants to get poked and prodded? This is why it’s so important that the experience be as pleasant as possible. Having new office staff every time a patient visits is not the way to create happy patients.
Unfortunately, healthcare turnover can be high. In fact, more than 1 in 4 healthcare employees will leave each year. Why? One of the big reasons is working conditions. The number of balls being juggled can be overwhelming. From answering phones and checking in patients to dealing with insurance and billing issues, data entry, and rescheduling patients, the to-do list is huge—and always growing. This can quickly lead to frustrated workers and dissatisfied patients.
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How Can You Boost Satisfaction Levels?
Find ways to put things on cruise control. There are many ways to cut back on the workload of your front desk staff. Through technology, you can speed up many of the processes that make balancing the workload so difficult. Consider the following:
- Automate messaging – Front desk staff spend a large part of their day on the phone with patients. In today’s day and age, this is no longer necessary. Texting or emailing can save an incredible amount of time. The good news is that it also make patients happier! The vast majority—75%—say that they would rather receive a text than a phone call.
- Let patients make their own appointments – Did you know that 77% of patients say that they would prefer to set up their own appointment online? This gives them more control and boosts satisfaction levels. It also saves a ton of time for office staff. It’s a win-win.
- Use a check-in tablet - We’re living in a modern age. We should take advantage of that. Having a tablet or kiosk for patients to check themselves is not only acceptable but desired. Front desk staff can smile and welcome patients without the paperwork.
By reducing some of the workload on your front desk personnel, they will be able to focus more of their time on making patients feel comfortable.
Need more help? We’ve got you covered. Check out more tips for practice management and office efficiency here!