We’ve all been there. You show up to a long anticipated appointment in a new office in an unfamiliar building thinking, “I hope this goes smoothly”. Identifying the anxieties and frustrations patients experience during office visits can help providers rethink day-to-day protocol to improve patient satisfaction.
We partnered with one of Penn Medicine’s orthopedic practices to explore the needs of patients from the time they walk through the door to the time at which they receive care.
Our key assumption was that wait times were a key driver of patient dissatisfaction. However, we found that patients cared less about the wait than knowing what to expect- not only in terms of time, but with the processes involved with receiving care.
At this particular practice, patients are usually required to get x-rays on the day of their appointment. This means that additional touch points are required. We found that issues with office navigation and a lack of understanding for the overall flow of the visit led to confusion and frustration among patients.
Our team developed a simple paper prototype to provide patients with additional information at check-in. Our “Experience Guide” included a map outlining all of the steps that would occur during their visit, a physical map of the environment to aid with navigation, space to document questions for their provider, and a place to provide feedback on their experience.
At the end of our pilot, the practice’s overall satisfaction score had increased by 3%.