We here at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com know that patient satisfaction is important to our physicians. First, physicians want to provide excellent care for their patients –that is why they became physicians in the first place. And, second, most physicians know that satisfied patients are much less likely to sue them for med mal, causing them to have to use their physician liability coverage.
There are many easy-to-implement ideas that physicians can incorporate into their practices to increase patient satisfaction. Putting these ideas into practice can potentially decrease your chances of having to use your med mal policy.
Four Ways to Increase Patient Satisfaction So You Don’t Have to Use Your Physician Liability Coverage
1. End all of your patients’ appointments by asking if you have answered all of their questions.
2. Provide a follow-up phone call for your more complex patients. Again, ask if they have any additional questions and express that you understand they are facing a complex situation and just wanted to make sure that they understand everything.
3. Survey your patients. Asking patients about their experience post-visit lets patients know that you genuinely care about their experiences in your office and gives you concrete rather than anecdotal evidence that your patients are satisfied. Physicians should not assume that no news is good news when it comes to patient satisfaction. Patients may simply choose to vent their negative views of a practice online, rather than to you or your staff. And, because we feel patient satisfaction is so important, we provide our physicians with a free online patient satisfaction survey tool. This is just one of several free tools that we provide our physicians.
4. Provide patients with a personalized take-away. The paper should list the date of the appointment, physician seen, reason for the appointment, and any follow-ups needed, like: when to schedule another appointment, whether a prescription needs to get filled, whether a referral appointment needs to be made and with whom, etc. And, of course, put it on your office’s letterhead with contact information.
About Katie Leander
Katie is a Writer and Content Strategist with MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com. Ms. Leander’s background is in medical education and medical ethics.
Prior to MMMI.com, she worked in the Department of Education at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. While there, she conducted their Learner’s Needs Assessment, served on the Research Advisory and Advocacy Committee, the Education Subcommittee and overhauled the evaluation component of their CME program, as well as worked on several of their CME programs and revised and updated The Resident’s Research Packet.
Before that, she was in the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association, where she was the Project Manager for a $1.7 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a train-the-trainer curriculum on End-of-life Care, called EPEC (Education for Physicians on End-of-life Care). She managed all aspects of the EPEC Project, including: the website, inquiries from the public, and multiple nation-wide conferences. She also coordinated the development, data collection, drafting and editing of three major publications: EPEC Speakers List, EPEC Resource Guide, and EPEC Curriculum.
Before that, she was at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Medicine. While there, she served as a Research Specialist in the Health Sciences in the Program in Clinical Ethics. She co-taught Facing Mortality, a first-year elective medical school course, led a discussion section for Ethics and Law, a second-year required medical school course, and coordinated all aspects of Topics in Clinical Ethics, a course for hospital staff. She also served as Secretary for the Hospital Ethics Committee where she participated in the review and drafting of hospital policies, and headed the Education Subcommittee.
With MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com, she frequently writes about patient satisfaction, physician bedside manner, and generally how good doctor-patient communication can help physicians lower their medical malpractice risk and improve patient care.
She also serves on the Family Advisory Board of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and the Board of Directors of Lucky Plush Productions, a nationally-known modern dance company.