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A modern practice’s guide to the patient experience


Focusing on creating a pleasant and thorough patient experience is necessary for the health of a practice.

patient experience | © Vitalii Vodolazskyi -

© Vitalii Vodolazskyi -

Patient experience continues to be a hot topic in the health care industry. Stakeholders are analyzing the patient experience within organizations and brainstorming ways to improve this process. And there is good reason for this focus, as the modern patient is particularly consumer-driven and places an emphasis on a positive experience. According to the Beryl Institute, 96 percent of patients count the patient experience as either important or very important when they are selecting a provider.

Focusing on creating a pleasant and thorough patient experience is necessary for the health of a practice. It can and will affect a practice’s business, so it is important to know what the patient experience is, why it is important, and how to enhance it.

What is the patient experience?

The patient experience encompasses all interactions a patient has within the health care system, spanning care teams, practices, hospitals, and insurers. This includes appointment scheduling, communication, and information accessibility. While often used interchangeably, “patient satisfaction” and “patient experience” are different concepts. The former reflects the degree to which patient expectations are met, while the latter encompasses the objective events occurring during a patient’s care journey.

The elements of patient experience

The University of Utah outlines five key elements of the patient experience:

  • Knowing and caring for the patient
  • Listening to and hearing the patient
  • Teaching and explaining to the patient
  • Using teamwork to coordinate for the patient
  • Providing efficiency to make care easy for the patient

These elements serve as guiding principles for practices to optimize every aspect of patient interaction, fostering not only a high-quality patient experience but also enhancing patient satisfaction.

Benefits of improving patient experience

“Improving the patient experience yields benefits for both patients and practices, contributing to enhanced clinical and business outcomes. Patients who receive comprehensive, positive experiences tend to exhibit loyalty to their care providers and often share the positive experiences with others, which in turn helps the practice’s reputation and financial health. Additionally, a robust patient experience fosters greater patient engagement, as individuals who feel supported and valued are more inclined to take an active role in their care and adhere to treatment plans,” said Ty Ford, Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Medical Sales at Henry Schein.

Financial implications

“In today’s consumer-driven health care landscape, patients expect not only quality care but also exceptional customer service. Providing a superior patient experience can significantly impact a practice’s revenue through enhanced patient retention and an enhanced reputation,” said Ty.  

Studies indicate that hospitals delivering a superior patient experience enjoy profit margins approximately 50 percent higher than those providing an average experience. Given that patients spend, on average, over $10,000 annually on health care costs, maintaining patient loyalty is crucial for financial stability. Furthermore, prioritizing the patient experience can positively influence staff satisfaction and retention rates, mitigating turnover costs and further bolstering revenue.

Importance of focusing on patient experience

Aside from its financial implications, focusing on the patient experience is imperative because it aligns with patient preferences. Patient experience often eclipses care quality in patient testimonials and online reviews, underscoring its significance in shaping public perception and practice success. 90 percent of patients check online review sites before scheduling doctor appointments, according to a 2020 survey from

Enhancing the patient experience

To enhance the patient experience, practices should prioritize empathetic communication, minimize wait times, and provide clear care instructions. Leveraging technology, such as online scheduling and digital intake forms, can streamline processes and improve convenience for patients. Soliciting and acting upon patient feedback through surveys enables continuous improvement and ensures that practice efforts align with patient needs and expectations.

Evaluating the patient experience

Since patients are driven primarily by convenience, practices should analyze every aspect of the patient journey from a patient’s perspective to ensure the experience is seamless. By evaluating each touchpoint in the practice, from appointment scheduling to post-care follow-up, practices can identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance patient satisfaction. It is important for a practice to regularly conduct audits and look at its technology, people, and processes. 

Working with solutions partners

Practices can also work with their solutions partner to find the right tools and strategies. A solutions partner such as Henry Schein Medical’s SolutionsHub can offer guidance and support tailored to a practice’s specific needs and goals. For example, the SolutionsHub offers solutions designed to optimize the patient experience such as practice marketing, online scheduling, appointment reminders, and digital check-in. Utilizing tools like remote patient monitoring (Rimidi), telehealth (Medpod), medication management (HealthFirst), cognitive assessment (Qr8), revenue cycle data visualization (RevOps), and medical waste disposal (MedPro) solutions can also contribute to an enhanced experience for patients, as well as increased financial success and a more streamlined workflow for providers.


In summary, practices should focus on these five areas to improve the patient experience:

  1. Streamline practice workflow.
  2. Focus on strong communication with patients.
  3. Make patient education a priority.
  4. Invest in a strong, user-friendly online presence.
  5. Implement digital solutions for tasks such as scheduling and intake.

The patient experience is not just a buzzword, it is a critical aspect of modern health care delivery. By prioritizing comprehensive, empathetic care and leveraging technology to streamline processes, practices can enhance patient satisfaction, improve clinical outcomes, and bolster financial health.

Ty Ford is Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Medical Sales at Henry Schein

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