Patient Satisfaction, Retention and Reduced Leakage

Patient satisfaction is a priority for all healthcare providers because it affects retention, loyalty, reputation of the organization, HCAHPS and CG-CAPHS scores and the revenue and reimbursement related to all of these factors.

Patient satisfaction is influenced by multiple factors, including:

  • Understanding and shaping patient expectations
  • Ongoing, proactive communication with patients
  • Quick access to appointments and short wait times at appointments
  • Time spent with patients during encounters
  • Attentiveness of providers during encounters (active listening, eye contact, etc.)
  • Responsiveness to patient questions and concerns
  • Access to out-of-pocket cost estimates

Forefront Healthcare Consulting helps healthcare provider organizations develop and implement strategies that drive higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Patient Retention and Leakage

Patient retention is an increasing challenge to healthcare providers for many reasons.

  • Healthcare insurance coverage changes due to change or loss of employment
  • Changes in health plans offered by employers from one enrollment period to the next
  • Retirement or change of employment/self-employment status of physicians
  • Patient disappointment/dissatisfaction with their healthcare experience
  • Patient or provider relocation
  • More convenient, user-friendly, patient-centric competitors
  • Competitor marketing and advertising
  • Physician referral preferences and relationships

Patient leakage is a term associated with health systems and hospitals in referring to patients who leave or are referred outside of a health network. In fact, patient leakage is present in any healthcare organization whenever patients leave their current providers or don’t follow the referral recommendations made by their physician. This includes ACOs, CINs and independent medical groups as well as hospitals and health systems.

Twenty percent of healthcare executives report losing more than 20% annually to patient leakage and more than four out of five consider patient leakage to be a serious concern.

Patient Loyalty

To what extent in today’s healthcare environment does patient loyalty even exist anymore? Some factors affecting patient loyalty and retention cannot be controlled by the healthcare providers, but other factors can make a measurable impact. Otherwise, there would be no difference in patient retention and leakage rates from one provider or organization to another and we know that there are notable differences.

What are the factors, actions, processes, behaviors and systems that account for differences in patient retention from one provider or organization to another?

Consistent Success Requires a Strategy

There are many ways and many tools to increase patient satisfaction and retention while reducing leakage, but developing an effective, ongoing system for optimizing patient satisfaction and retention requires an overarching strategy in order to determine the best approach, process and resources for each healthcare organization.

Forefront consultants have worked with many physicians and healthcare organizations across the U.S. to develop effective patient satisfaction and retention strategies.

Forefront also continually researches and identifies tip-of-the-arrow tools and resources to help healthcare organizations achieve their patient satisfaction and retention goals and reduce patient leakage.

Additionally, Forefront provides custom patient satisfaction and retention training and coaching programs for physicians and staff in healthcare organizations.

Call Forefront at 800-924-5447 to discuss your patient satisfaction and retention goals and challenges.