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Poor Patient Satisfaction: 5 Problems that Lead to Unhappy Patients

Posted on Dec 15, 2020 by Lori Boyer

    01-Unhappy Patients-100Studies show that one in three patients anticipate switching providers in the next couple of years. As patients are looking more and more for a consumer-based healthcare experience, it’s important to think about what things patients like—or don’t like. According to our study, the following challenges are the biggest irritations:

    1. Lack of extended hours – A vast majority of patients(76 percent) say that they wish their healthcare providers offered extended hours. We are living in the era of 24-hour everything. Want to set yourself apart from your competition? Add some evening hours a few days a week or try opening on Saturday morning. In the COVID era, you might also want to consider adding hours for high-risk patients. 
    2. Poor message return time—A measly 32 percent of patients say that their messages are returned promptly. That’s a whole lotta bad service. Use text messages to improve your return time. By texting with a service that includes a HIPAA consent tool, you can quickly shoot off a text message to respond to pretty much any question your patient may have. And since the average text message takes just eight seconds, it’s quick and easy.
    3. Unreasonable wait time—One of the things that just really makes for a cranky patient is a long wait time. How do you feel about your current wait time? Most practices would say that they’re doing okay. Unfortunately, their patients would disagree. The survey found that 68 percent of patients are unhappy with their wait times in the office.
    4. Lack of reminders—Just over 60 percent of patients say that they are dissatisfied with the way their practice reminds them about tests and follow-up treatment. In our modern era, you shouldn’t have a blanket approach to reminders. Ask which method—email, phone, or text—a patient would prefer reminder-messageand then contact them that way. Small things like this can make a big difference when it comes to an improved patient experience.
    5. Ease of scheduling appointments—Let’s face it. Consumers are demanding more control over their lives. We shop online, use the self check-out at the store, and request specific prescriptions. Never before have Americans wanted to take such a proactive role in their healthcare. The same is true for scheduling. When patients are able to schedule themselves, they can quickly see which doctors are available and when. Since 41 percent of patients would be willing to see another doctor in the practice to reduce their wait, this is a simple solution to reducing wait times to getting into the office.

    Learn more about creating an outstanding patient experience in our free guide. 

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    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer has spent over a decade developing content and customer strategy for a wide variety of companies. She especially loves "walking a mile" in the shoes of her target audience. At Solutionreach we focus on relationships - building and maintaining them. She does the same. Lori Boyer is a lover of crisp fall mornings, a good book, and just about anything Beauty and the Beast related.

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