Most dermatologists cite providing superior patient care as one of their primary professional goals. The patient’s experience in your practice is central to how they view their care. By creating a superior patient experience, you can establish a strong patient base who will regularly return to your practice to resolve their issues, and who will proactively recommend your practice to others. Another key benefit of becoming your patient’s go-to practitioner, is the increasingly comfortable relationship between you and the patient. This encourages the patient to more proactively seek treatment, which can have a positive effect on outcomes. But how do you go about improving the patient experience in your dermatology practice?

Here are four strategies you can implement to improve patient experience:

Reduce Waiting Times

Whether you’re standing in a line to pay for your groceries or sitting in a waiting room to see a doctor, no one likes having their time wasted. As a dermatologist, the face-to-face time you spend with your patient is important, which is why you shouldn’t rush through a consultation to cut the waiting period down for your patients. However, you can reduce waiting times by training your staff to run your systems as efficiently as possible, and be sure you are allowing a realistic time for appointments.  Avoiding double bookings can will also help prevent you from running behind with your appointments. If you don’t already, have knowledgeable and trained team members begin the appointments with history and identify the patients’ chief complaints. Since some wait time is inevitable, be sure to keep a selection of current and relevant reading materials available. Consider the age range of your patients. Do you need large type format? Do you need juvenile reading materials?

Ensure Staff are Friendly and Courteous

Whether patients are engaging with your staff via the phone or in person, staff should have the requisite training to ensure that they deliver excellent service. The prosperity of your practice may depend on these pre- and post-consultation interactions. The success of your staff in delivering excellent service comes down to two things: their being knowledgeable about your practice and common dermatology-related questions, and developing excellent customer service skills. Be sure to provide training and education to allow your team to excel.

Improve the Quality of Your Consultations

The journal article Improving Quality and Patient Satisfaction in Dermatology Office Practice highlights how there are a number of factors where dermatologists are succeeding, such as timely test results, clearness of instructions and physician responses to questions. However, there are a number of areas that dermatologists need to focus on, including post-consultation follow-up, treatment success and the time spent with the patient. By addressing these areas in your practice, you can improve how patients feel about your consultations and the overall patient experience.

Equip Your RN/NP/PA Team Members With a Deeper Knowledge Bank

One of the key ways you can improve patient experience is by improving the knowledge bank of the RNs, NPs and PAs in your team. Encouraging them to complete additional dermatology courses or programs will allow you to eliminate gaps in their dermatological training and improve the quality of their service. This is a far quicker solution to an issue that would otherwise only be addressed through one other method: the experience they gained through years of experience on the job. Supporting your staff in continued education has a number of added benefits including improving practice efficiency, job competency, and patient satisfaction. Further education will equip them to better anticipate your needs, prepare for and assist in in-office procedures, counsel patients, and manage post-consultation follow-ups.

In order to provide the RNs, NPs, and PAs on your team with the information they need to provide you with better support, take a look at the Advanced Training in Dermatology program. You can also contact one of our consultants for more information.

A positive patient experience is a key to running an efficient practice. After all, their satisfaction ultimately can affect clinical outcomes, rates of patient retention and also reduces the risk of medical malpractice claims! These simple tips are just a few ways you could begin improving your patients’ experience in your own practice, today.

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