5 Strategies for Improving Patient Experience in Your Medical Practice

Start improving patient experience as we explore the top five ways for medical practices to maintain their patients' trust and satisfaction.

Patient experience is one of the most important factors in healthcare. Patients entrust their health, physical well-being, and privacy to medical providers. A good or bad experience will guide them toward important decisions on which provider they choose. In fact, 82% of patients say quality customer service is what they consider the most when choosing care. For this reason, improving patient experience is crucial for a successful practice.

Join us as we explore the top five ways to start improving patient experience in your medical practice.

Improving patient experience - A female doctor assisting a senior male patient in a clinic.

1) Create a Comfortable and Welcoming Environment

Patients need to be able to feel at ease in your medical practice. From the waiting room to the exam rooms, medical facilities should seek to create a comfortable and welcoming environment. 

  • First Impressions:
    • From the moment patients walk through the door, your medical practice environment will influence how patients feel about their care experience. First impressions matter, and a warm welcome can make a big difference.
  • Physical Environment:
    • Improving patient experience also involves improving the waiting area and consultation rooms. Use soft chairs and conventional decoration styles, and make sure there's room for a trusted friend or family member to provide moral support.
  • Emotional Environment:
    • Create an environment where friendly and empathic staff interactions are natural, not forced.

The little touches in your facility design are important for helping patients feel at ease. Making your patients feel welcome is beneficial not just for patients, but for medical providers as well. Doctors, nurses, and medical technicians will find that patients are more cooperative, more likely to share important (and highly personal) details about their conditions, and more willing to communicate in a collaborative care process when they are at ease inside your practice.

Improving patient experience - A female doctor assisting a female patient during a medical consultation.

2) Clarity in Billing

Take the fear and uncertainty out of the medical billing process. Patients often have no idea how much a medical appointment or procedure will cost because insurance plans are less than transparent and don't provide a clear guide.

Your medical practice can start improving patient experience by providing greater clarity when it comes to patient policies and what they will pay out of pocket.

How you send your bill also plays a role.

  • Did you know? According to the Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, 74% of patients prefer to receive medical bills by mail. Although, 85% prefer to pay their bills online.

These statistics support a dual-billing approach, both sending medical bills by mail and making it possible to pay medical bills online. Patients appreciate the convenience of an online patient portal with a clear balance and easy bill pay but also value the hard-copy documentation of a bill sent by mail.

Fortifying mailed bills with digital communication can drive faster payments and increase patient satisfaction at the same time.

Improving patient experience - A male doctor walking with patients in a hospital.

3) Enhance Communication Channels

Medical care is a team effort between patients and their medical providers. This is why clear communication is a key element in improving patient experience. Fortunately, modern medical practices have many tools available to keep in touch with patients, providing channels of communication for both care and transparent billing procedures.

  • Email
    • Medical information and billing emails provide a private way to share important information directly with your patients.
    • 89% of Americans over the age of 15 have email, and 99% of email users check their email daily.
  • SMS Reminders
    • SMS reminders are a highly effective way to help patients make their appointments on time and pay their bills. 
    • 1 in 3 people check their text messages within 1 minute of receiving. 
    • 85% of people check their messages within 1-5 minutes of receiving.
  • Live Chat
    • Live chat is quickly becoming a preferred way to provide administrative answers to patients online.
    • 63% of consumers indicate they prefer Live Chat customer support
  • Patient Portals
    • Patient portals provide a personalized dashboard of useful information and billing payment options.

Keeping in touch with your patients is crucial in improving patient experience, and the right billing software can make all the difference. BillFlash simplifies patient billing by sending electronic notifications called eBill Notices via text and email when a bill is ready. It also makes it easy to send professionally printed bills via First-Class USPS mail, complete with a QR code that directs patients to an online payment portal for quick and efficient payments. Plus, you can include a printed PDF with your mailed bills, transforming your billing statements into an effective communication tool with your patients. 

4) Provide Multiple Ways to Pay Bills

Patients today handle bill payments in many different ways. They are more likely to automate their payments or take care of medical payments promptly when their preferred payment method is available.

Offering a variety of payment options to your patients ensures you get paid quickly and helps in improving patient experience. Here are a few methods to consider:

  • Credit Card
    • Many patients channel all their payments through a credit card for safety and convenience.
    • Credit cards are also easy to use online and may be saved to the patient's phone or browser.
  • Online Payments
    • An online payment portal makes completing payments much faster and easier than paying by mail or over the phone. Plus, each online payment eliminates the need for staff handling.
  • By Mail
    • Some patients still prefer the traditional method of paying their medical bills by mail, so it's crucial to maintain this option.
  • By Phone
    • Some patients still prefer the convenience of paying their bills by phone, valuing the personal touch and immediate confirmation. Ensuring this option remains available caters to all patient preferences, enhancing their overall satisfaction

Offering multiple payment methods enhances convenience for your patients and fosters trust and satisfaction, as they can select the most comfortable method for them. Ultimately, accommodating multiple payment methods streamlines your billing process, reduces outstanding balances, and supports a smooth and efficient patient experience.

Improving patient experience - A female patient shaking hands with her male doctor in a clinic.

5) Offer Payment Plans

It’s a fact: 1 in 4 Americans can’t afford an unexpected $400 bill. Payment plans make it possible for patients to pay their medical bills in installments over time, whether for unexpected medical bills or elective procedures.

Offering patients the option of payment plans can significantly reduce financial burdens and increase medical accessibility. Patients can space out their medical care payments at a rate that their budget can support.

Utilizing a solution like BillFlash FlexPay to offer flexible payment plans to your patients ensures that medical providers get paid in full right away. This creates a win-win solution for patients and practices, improving patient experience over time. Then educate your staff on how to gently present these options to patients before and after medical appointments. This will help patients understand that payment plans are available and that costly medical care is still an option.

Start Improving Your Medical Practice Patient Experience With BillFlash

Patients will choose the medical providers who make them feel safe and at ease. From the design of your facility to worry-free payment options, these five improvements will significantly increase your overall patient experience.  Of course, your best results will come from continuously seeking patient feedback and making improvements whenever the opportunity arises.

Schedule a demo with BillFlash to learn more about our cloud-based application for billing, payment processing, patient financing, and medical debt collections. Our all-in-one solution makes it possible to enhance the patient experience with seamless billing processes while streamlining workflows for your staff.

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