Managing the Impact of Patient Feedback

patient engagement

Patient Feedback and Your Practice

The impacts of patient feedback can be far-reaching. Your patients are experts in what it’s like to receive dental work at your practice. Their feedback is truly a reflection of where your practice is at.

Consequently, you have to know how to integrate that feedback! But just getting started with this can be daunting.

Let’s dive into how you can organize patient feedback and manage its impact.

Navigating Negative Patient Feedback

Of course, there are two different types of patient feedback. And they are handled very differently!

No practice enjoys receiving negative feedback from patients. However, some negative feedback can offer insights into how your practice can do better.

To help manage the impact of patient feedback, it can be useful to have appropriate channels to receive it. Offering a feedback form or survey at the conclusion of your patient’s appointment is a great way – and a very common way – to do this! 

When you receive negative feedback on a survey, there are some key questions to ask:

  • Is this negative feedback consistent? If your survey is divided into sections (i.e., how easy it was to get an appointment, how the patient was treated by staff, etc.), is the negative feedback consistently in one section? 
  • Is this negative feedback focused on one particular staff member? Sometimes, challenging conversations have to be had with one member of staff, rather than with the team as a whole.
  • Is this negative feedback mostly focused on delays or waits? This can be a key piece of feedback, which allows your practice to hone in on how it can streamline and increase efficiencies.

Integrating the impact of negative patient feedback becomes a lot more manageable once you know its scope. Once you know which specific things need to shift, you can make a plan accordingly.

The Emotional Impact on Your Staff

Working with the public, in any capacity, can be a thankless job. Stresses from our personal lives can often bleed into our treatment of salespeople, baristas, bank tellers – and front-office staff in healthcare settings. Often, if someone is going to be the recipient of the negative feedback in a healthcare setting, it’s going to be whoever is out front at the desk.

This can have a negative emotional impact on front-office staff. First and foremost, ensuring the emotional well-being of its staff must be a priority for your dental office. There are some ways to mitigate the effects of these kind of experiences, including:

  • Offering spaces like a daily stand-up to share that negative feedback and discuss it
  • Checking in on front-office staff, especially after negative feedback has been given by a patient
  • Offering appropriate channels to patients to give negative feedback, such as reminding the patient that they will be receiving a survey asking them about their experiences
  • Reminding front-office staff that they are valued and acknowledging the impact that receiving negative feedback can have when delivered face-to-face

Ensuring that front-office staff have the tools they need to succeed can go a long way. We’ll talk a little more about the role that software can play in managing patient feedback below. But, it also allows your staff to manage their work day with less stress.

How to Leverage Positive Patient Feedback

Positive patient feedback can be extremely powerful.  Knowing what your practice is doing well is just as important as where it can improve. 

There are some essential ways to leverage positive patient feedback, such as:

  • Your patients become your best advocates. When a patient gives you positive feedback, ask for a review. 87% of consumers use Google reviews to evaluate new services. A strong rating on Google also bumps you up in the algorithm, helping new patients to find you.
  • It boosts morale for your team. Everyone likes to know they’ve done well. Sharing positive feedback with your staff is a moment to show them how their hard work is having an impact.
  • It can show you where your practice has grown. If you have been receiving negative feedback in one area, and then you begin receiving positive feedback, this is a great way to find out how your practice has grown!

Truly, positive patient feedback can have a lasting impact on a dental practice – just as much if not more so than negative feedback!

The Role of Software

At Intiveo, we know a bit about how software can be used to manage this feedback. Gathering patient feedback with hardcopy forms can be quite challenging. Often, the forms won’t get returned. Or, if they are handwritten by patients, they can be hard to decipher.

Gathering positive reviews can be a challenge, as well. Requesting a Google review verbally at the conclusion of your patient’s appointment, for example, might mean they forget by the time they next open their phone.

Patient engagement software can streamline this experience. For example, Intiveo gives you the option of automating a request for feedback. This is sent to the patient by text or email. If their feedback is positive, Intiveo prompts them to leave a review. If it’s negative, Intiveo can help you analyze this feedback to see how your practice can improve.

Curious to learn more? Book a meeting today.