The American healthcare system has grown so large and complex that it sometimes pays insufficient attention to the people who are, in theory, it’s sole reason for existence: the patients. There’s a semi-legitimate reason for the neglect. The patient is not usually the one who’s paying. However, patient satisfaction does matter. Even with the massive healthcare delivery systems we have today, patient opinions and online reviews can still affect the fortunes of individual medical practices and service providers. There are good reasons to keep patients satisfied.

Drivers of patient satisfaction

What makes a patient satisfied or dissatisfied? The issues are pretty basic. Short wait times, smooth, non-confusing delivery of care and avoidance of billing nightmares all count towards patient satisfaction. The process runs in reverse, though. Long waits, confusing service orders and complicated billing make patients unhappy. Dissatisfaction also tends to be infectious. Once unhappy, a patient will spread stress and trouble across the service delivery network.

Assuming your practice is conscientious and professionally managed, it will probably create a generally high level of patient satisfaction. Even with strong management and good intentions, though, there are still opportunities for negative experiences. For instance, with incomplete or confusing service orders, patients can become irritated quite easily.

Let’s say your practice refers a patient to an imaging center for an MRI. The doctor writes a service order and hands it to the patient. This sets off a process of scheduling, service delivery and billing. A collection of people are involved. These range from the referring physician’s staff to the scheduler, the service technician, billing people and so forth. Everyone has a part to play. No one usually knows what anyone else is up to. This it not good.

If the process is manual, the clumsy handoffs between the participants in the service delivery workflow can result in confusion and aggravation for the patient. The patient may lack specifics on where and when the appointment is going to take place. He or she may lack instructions. This results in phone calls, emails and other nuisances – all of which negatively affect patient satisfaction.

How order management systems drive improved patient satisfaction

An online order management system automates the service delivery process. With this capability comes potential improvements in patient satisfaction. For instance, iOrder reduces miscommunication between the various participants in the collaborative service delivery workflows. With everyone involved gaining secure, transparent access to order details, the potential for patient confusion drops off.

The system also includes conveniences like automated text message appointment reminders and messages that remind patients about important instructions that accompany the order. With a single, unified record of the order, the authorization and billing processes are become less error-prone. With these features, the patient enjoys a more positive experience and will be more satisfied.Order management software can become an essential part of keeping patients satisfied. Satisfied patients drive referrals and coveted positive online reviews. If you want to learn how iOrder can make your practice or facility run better, let’s talk.