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Creating High-Impact Patient Experiences for Your Clinic or Healthcare Organization


Happy, satisfied patients are the lifeblood of any practice or clinic. It’s what ensures patients show up for their appointments, that they’re engaged during treatment, and even that they refer their friends and acquaintances to your clinic. But achieving positive patient experiences takes some planning and work. This guide will show you how to begin crafting amazing patient experiences in your clinic for increased satisfaction ratings, improved retention rates, and overall happy patients.


Step 1: Implement a Biopsychosocial Approach to Treatment & Process



The biopsychosocial model has been described both as a philosophy of clinical care and a guide for clinical practice [1]. This approach to providing care takes into account the physical, psychological, and social factors of the disease or injury and promotes an integrated approach to treatment [2]. It has become a rather popular and regularly studied topic over the past several years.


If you follow the assessment approach using the biopsychosocial model, then you understand that there are too many factors at play for rigid treatment protocols or “cookie-cutter” treatment programs.


You can read more about the biopsychosocial model here.



Step 2: It’s All About Relationships


Building on the idea that every patient is different, and requires a more individualized approach to assessment and treatment, is the idea that we need to address the human side of healthcare; the interpersonal interactions between clinical staff and patients.


An interesting finding from the research is that patients reported higher levels of satisfaction when they were treated by the same clinician over the course of treatment [3].


This points to the importance of building strong patient-clinician relationships.




You can read more about building strong patient relationships here.



Step 3: Work On Your Communication


It goes without saying that —at the very least— patients expect to be treated by clinicians who are professional, competent, friendly, and caring. Research also shows that patients place a great deal of weight on the clinician’s ability to communicate effectively;
from explaining a diagnosis to educating the patient of self-management strategies [3].


This starts with the way the therapist and patient communicate, including language, word choice, body language, and active listening.


You can read more about effective patient communication here.



Step 4: Understand Behavioral Change


An often overlooked factor is that patient’s readiness to change.


Think about it.


Therapy treatments require patients to make real and challenging behavioral changes, and those changes are hard.


Behavioral change plays a role in at least three patient-facing areas of any therapy practice or clinic:

  1. Acquiring new patients
  2. Retaining current patients
  3. Treating and helping patients achieve their goals


You can read more about the role of behavioral change in your patient’s experience and engagement here.



Step 5: Measure & Track Patient Retention


It seems that many clinics, especially those that may be struggling financially, put a lot of effort into and focus a lot of attention of getting in front of referral sources to increase the numbers of patients coming into their clinic door. They think they have a patient acquisition problem. But as I often see, they may more than likely have patient retention difficulties.


In fact, between 20-30% will not show up to their third appointment and up to 70 percent of patients will fail to complete their full course of care [4].


Plan of care completion should be a key metric in your business.


You should monitor, track, and try to improve course of care retention & clinic retention.


You can read more about patient retention here.


Download the Free Guide with the 5 Keys to Creating the Ultimate Patient Experience


In this guide you will find:

  • The 5 keys to creating meaningful and impactful patient experiences
  • Links to informational articles that go into greater depth of each key point
  • Insights into the most important and fundamental aspects of healthcare service delivery


Are you struggling to keep patients on the books?


Do you feel like your no-show and cancellation rate is killing your clinic?


Are you desperate to have patients leave you positive reviews and ratings?


If that sounds like you, then this resource is for you!

Download it now!


How have you tried to deliver an impactful patient experience? Share any additional resources that you found helpful in the comments below!

For more informational reads, check out our Insights Page to see all the articles we’ve published to date. Click here to head over to our resources section and check out our variety of clinical and professional resources aimed at increasing your knowledge and skills. If you’d like to make some changes in your clinic or health center, and would like some help, check out our consulting and advisement services or contact us to see how we can help you break out of the norm and provide a truly impactful patient experience.



[1] Borrell-Carrio, F. (2004). The Biopsychosocial Model 25 Years Later: Principles, Practice, and Scientific Inquiry. The Annals of Family
Medicine, 2(6), 576-582. doi:10.1370/afm.245

[2] Covic, T. (2003). A biopsychosocial model of pain and depression in rheumatoid arthritis: A 12-month longitudinal study. Rheumatology, 42(11), 1287-1294. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keg3

[3] Hush, J. M., Cameron, K., & Mackey, M. (2011). Patient Satisfaction With Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Care: A Systematic Review. Physical Therapy, 91(1), 25-36. doi:10.2522/ptj.20100061

[4] Jack, K., McLean, S. M., Moffett, J. K., & Gardiner, E. (2010). Barriers to treatment adherence in physiotherapy outpatient clinics: a systematic review. Manual therapy, 15(3), 220–228. doi:10.1016/j.math.2009.12.004

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L is the president and CEO of Rehab U Practice Solutions. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. He worked as the lead clinician in an outpatient specialty clinic at his local VA Medical center. He also has experience as an adjunct faculty instructor at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, has served on several committees for the national OT Board (NBCOT), and as a consultant working for the State of Georgia’s DBHDD. He is also on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. He works to help healthcare clinics and organizations deliver uniquely impactful patient experiences by improving service delivery through training & advisement.

Read his full bio Here. Read about Rehab U Here.

Schedule a call with him Here.

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