Healthcare Leadership: Apply These 7 Tips and Your Patient Satisfaction Score Will Soar

A patient’s perception of their care matters. Medical facilities need to know how they feel at all times, as this gives insight into where the facility needs to make changes. For this reason, many medical practices make use of patient satisfaction scores to drive change within the organization or alter the delivery of patient care. Nevertheless, these facilities often overlook simple solutions. The following tips become of great help to raise patient satisfaction scores and provide a higher level of care.

Improved Communication

Medical professionals deal with countless individuals daily. When meeting someone new, every person should introduce themselves. This provides the patient with some comfort, as they know who they are dealing with or speaking to. If possible, write the name of every person the patient will interact with on a whiteboard in the patient’s room. If this isn’t possible, find another way to deliver this information.

Furthermore, set aside time to speak with the patient about their concerns. Answer questions they may have, such as about patient food that will be beneficial for their condition or what type of exercise could help them recover faster. Never rush interactions with patients and be present in the moment. This shows the individual they are respected and heard.

Body Language

doctor-patientMedical practitioners need to pay attention to their body language, as patients notice it and it affects their perception of the individual. Patients look at non-verbal cues when interacting with the professional and use this information to determine their mood and interest in communicating. Four things play a role in a patient’s perception: touch, eye contact, facial expression, and body posture.

Physical contact shows the practitioner is concerned about the patient or thinks highly of them. For this reason, medical professionals must take care when touching a patient. Request permission before doing so and let the patient know what will happen. People cannot be too careful in this area, so make this a requirement for everyone working in the facility to avoid potential problems.

Find the right balance between eye contact and staring. Patients want to feel as if their questions and comments are important. However, they don’t want to feel as if they are under a microscope.

The eyes aren’t the only thing a person pays attention to when speaking with a medical professional. They also observe their facial expressions. People often express their thoughts and feelings without knowing they are doing so. Medical professionals need to know how to keep a blank face at all times. Nevertheless, a smile and relaxed facial muscles go a long way in putting a patient at ease. Never yawn, grimace, or make other facial expressions that patients could view negatively.

Posture is another thing patients notice when interacting with a medical professional. While there’s no need to run into a patient’s room, walking in confidently shows the patient the professional is ready to provide the care. When a practitioner shuffles into the room, the patient forms a negative impression, which is never a good way to start a visit.

Bedside Manner

Patients need to know that they are being heard and their concerns are valid. Communication plays a large role in this, but bedside manner is also of great importance. Patients need to be treated with respect at all times. A person’s demeanor is determined by how they act and how others perceive their behavior. A doctor with a poor bedside manner leaves patients feeling anxious, which does nothing to improve the patient-clinician relationship. Each medical professional needs to ensure their bedside manner leaves the patient feeling confident there is a plan in place to treat the conditions they are experiencing.

Time Expectations

Patients rarely realize how much time medical procedures take. Individuals in the medical field need to share this information to ensure patients don’t become frustrated or upset when they have to wait longer than expected. Provide the patient and their loved ones with an estimated time for test results or an approximate time frame for a procedure. If something changes, be sure to let the patient and anyone accompanying them know what is going on. A lack of communication between medical professionals and their patients remains one of the biggest complaints today. Fortunately, it’s easily avoided, so take steps to improve communication today.

Make the Wait Pleasant

When a patient must wait to be seen, ensure they remain comfortable. Provide a TV, magazines, or other items to distract them until the doctor can see them. Patients who stay occupied don’t mind waiting as long as they know what is going on. Many medical facilities now use technology to not only keep patients entertained but also use the devices to provide patient education.

Provide Regular Updates

As mentioned earlier, communication remains key to a good clinician-patient relationship. If a patient is awaiting test results, update them on the expected time the results will be available. When x-rays are being reviewed, share this information. Doing so shows the patient they are a priority and helps them to feel involved in their care. Furthermore, it shows compassion on the part of the medical professional and that the team understands the importance of the patient’s time. When the patient desires, communicate with family members and keep them updated as well. Doing so likewise helps to improve the patient experience.


Medical professionals move from person to person throughout the day. If they get behind, they may become harried. Don’t let this interfere with patient interactions. Friendliness goes a long way in keep patients happy. Treat every patient as if they are a beloved member of the family and be open and honest in all communications. This single step can improve the patient-clinician relationship more than any other and is effortless to implement.

Begin implementing the above steps today and watch patient satisfaction scores soar. Medical professionals often overlook minor details only to find doing so harms their practice. Friendliness, patient education, and communication remain key to happy and satisfied patients. By making these a priority, any medical practice will see the patient load grow and referrals roll in.


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Last Updated on May 26, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD