For years, revenue cycle professionals have been concerned with “patient satisfaction”. We conduct surveys, measure change and react to it as we design our delivery systems and work with our front line people. This has come about largely because we recognize that patients are progressively more involved in choosing their providers. But have you ever stopped to think about what it means for a customer to be “satisfied”? It means you have “fulfilled their expectations”, you have been “sufficient” or perhaps “adequate”. Satisfied patients are not usually the ones that are speaking favorably of your services and you are one mistake away from losing them. They are not loyal, just satisfied.
I submit that Patient Satisfaction is not enough in today’s competitive market; Patient Loyalty is a more important goal. “Loyal Customers” can be described differently than “Satisfied Customers”. Think of loyal customers in terms like “devoted attachment”, “steadfast allegiance” and “faithful”. These customers will come back to your facility, speak highly of your services and people and help you maintain and grow your share of the market you serve. I am sure you can think of a business or service you are loyal to, differentiating those that have simply met your expectations. Which would you recommend to your friends?
Nearterm can help you advance from having satisfied customers to having loyal patients. The revenue cycle has everything to do with the patient experience. The continuum starts with that first exposure to your organization and leads to patient loyalty. It includes pre-admission, patient access, patient billing, patient accounting, health information management, utilization management and others. Let us talk with you about a practical approach that will help your hospital amass a loyal patient following.
Jim Matthews; Principal