6 Critical Factors That Affect the Patient Experience

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Many people fear going to the doctor. So-called “white coat syndrome” can prevent people from seeking necessary medical care. Even where fear isn’t an issue, patient satisfaction plays a significant role in consumer health. 

If a healthcare facility makes patients comfortable, they’re more likely to come back for follow-up, be open about their medical history, and ask pertinent questions. This extra openness can have a significant impact on a provider’s ability to treat their patients. 

For the healthcare leadership looking to increase patient satisfaction, six critical factors affect the patient experience.


How healthcare providers talk with their patients is one of the patients’ primary metrics to rate their experience. 

Needing medical attention is a vulnerable position, especially if it’s due to an accident or a lifestyle choice. A compassionate, non-judgmental response to a patient’s story can make all the difference in whether or not they feel heard.

The entire medical process is more straightforward with an open line of communication because it allows you to avoid misunderstandings and spend less dragging medical history from a reticent patient. 

Communication is vital, from booking appointments with the medical administrative assistant to giving blood to the lab technicians. Don’t forget to pay attention to body language as well as words when you’re fostering honest communication.

Your staff (or your lack thereof) 

What’s the first impression your patients have of your clinic? Your receptionist is usually their first point of contact. 

Although most healthcare providers focus on having the best reception, it’s actually how clinical support staff handle patients that has a more considerable impact on patient experience and satisfaction.

Nurses are at the forefront of dealing with patients, meaning that if they’re friendly, the patient is more likely to leave with a good review.

The last thing your patient wants is to sit in the waiting room or clinic room for upwards of an hour waiting on a nurse or doctor. Sadly, the current nursing staff shortage could be hurting your reputation. 

If you want to improve on your patient care standards, make sure you’re employing enough nurses to run the clinic or practice properly. If short staffing is standing the way of your patient care goals, consider partnering with Fusion Marketplace for all of your healthcare job-hunting needs. With a pool of talented healthcare professionals at your disposal, your efforts to improve the patient experience will go swimmingly. 

Your waiting room

Interior design has a genuine impact on human mood and psychology. Your waiting room should make patients feel calm and welcomed.

Quality waiting rooms with modern furnishings, proper lighting, quality artwork, and a generally welcoming atmosphere are consistently rated highly by patients. On the other hand, those with traditional furnishings, dark accents, no paintings, and cold appearances can be off-putting.

Your dressing

The way you present yourself to your patients means a lot. Believe it or not, patients rate doctors with the traditional attire and the top white coat higher. The general perception is that these are the most honest and knowledgeable.

In other words, patients feel confident when dealing with doctors who dress like traditional healthcare professionals.

Wait times

It’s all about convenience. No one likes to be kept waiting in a doctor’s office, especially not when they have a pre-scheduled appointment. 

While some delays are unavoidable in a clinic setting, it’s imperative to ensure they don’t happen too often. Otherwise, your patients might leave with the impression that you don’t respect their time. 

Many people view doctor’s visits as an errand on their checklist, so try to get patients in and out promptly where possible. 

Patient education

After doctors inform their patients of diagnoses and treatments, they must follow up and make sure the individual understands.

The type of education materials your patients receive impact their attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and overall satisfaction.

Animations and drawings make information more accessible. People aren’t looking for a doctor that makes their health concerns into a black box, so keep this in mind when educating your patients. 

Wrap Up

Your patients’ experience revolves around you. If you take care of these six critical factors mentioned above, you’ll improve your patient experience. Remember, patients are the people who determine a healthcare facility’s reputation. Make their experience a pleasant one, and they won’t have to eat an apple a day.

Interesting Related Article: “Ways to Reduce Stress during Patient Wait Time