Create a great patient experience; the stellar online reviews will follow

By Aine Cryts

If it's better online reviews your practice wants, you should focus less on your marketing strategy and more on creating a great patient experience, according to a recent Medscape article.

"I prefer to focus on the patient care experience. Yes, we're in the healthcare business, but it's not just a 'business,'" Jack Chou, M.D., a Baldwin Park, California-based family practice physician and a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told the news outlet. "Engaging patients and delivering patient-centered care are intrinsically part of being a doctor." And positive feedback from patients can lead to great reviews online, according to Chou.

Here are three ideas the article recommends to create a great patient experience:

Make patients feel comfortable in the waiting area. When choosing a paint color for your walls, consider one that coordinates with your practice's logo, Leslie Hack, director of operations at MD Success, LLC, a Marlton, New Jersey-based consulting firm for physician practices, told the publication. Providing comfortable chairs--including larger chairs for overweight patients--can help create a homey atmosphere. Investing in wireless Internet and having current magazines in your lobby area also shows your patients that you care about their experience, according to Hack.

Create a welcoming, safe experience for patients in the exam room. Care providers should introduce themselves, shake hands with their patients and greet them by name, Chou told Medscape. Two other ideas from Chou: Place the exam table so it's not visible if the door opens and hang posters of calming beach scenes on the exam room walls.

Show kindness and consideration. Coach employees to hold the door open for all patients--regardless of gender. It's the entire team's job to offer to help to patients who seem to be lost. For new and old patients alike, simple reminder instructions--such as where to drop off a urine sample--can improve their experience in your practice, as previously reported by FiercePracticeManagement.

To learn more:
- check out the article