Today’s patients expect certain conveniences from medical practices that say that the doctors and office staff appreciate them.  If practices want to compete in today’s healthcare environment, they need to offer patients convenience, but most of all, patients want to feel valued.

In Micah Solomon’s Forbes article listing Nine Patient Experience And Satisfaction Secrets For Hospitals And Healthcare. “Cues to indifference are everywhere,”  “it’s where much of patient dissatisfaction live.”

“Patients ignored by nurses who haven’t yet clocked in and therefore don’t realize they are already (poorly) representing their institution or doctors in the hallway loudly carrying on  vacations they’ve taken show indifference to the waiting patients.

What’s not as well known is the fact that indifference or a feeling of lack of respect are satisfaction killers. More than anything else, they cause patients to change providers…about 70 percent of the time.”

When patients are happy and satisfied, doctors and office staff are usually happy as well and take pride in their work.

Here are the top 7 things patients expect from their doctor’s office.

1.Showing that you care

While it is true that a medical practice is under time constraints, going the extra distance and giving follow up calls from the physician’s office goes a long way.  Doing so, ensures compliance with care that prescriptions were filled properly with comprehension as to how to take them and making sure that follow up appointments are made.   This works not only to insure patient satisfaction but for good medical care as well.

Consider amenities for the patients sitting in the waiting room.  Free Wi-Fi, coffee, and water  with comfortable furniture puts patients at ease and make them feel valued. A dingy room plastered with warnings and payment notices doesn’t show respect for the patient.  Add a television set mounted to the wall. Patients can watch popular shows but you can also loop videos pertaining to your services.

2.Online appointment scheduling

Practices need to offer online scheduling to make it easier to book an appointment, rather than having to wait 20 minutes to get the front desk clerk to schedule the appointment.

3.Shortened wait times

Patients expect to be seen within about 15 minutes of their appointment time. They feel that their time is important too and they also have busy schedules. Establish a system that texts patients updates on wait times, so they can adjust their arrival to reflect the current schedule.

4.Automated paperwork

Filling out forms online makes the appointment go much smoother and faster.No one wants to sit in a waiting room filling out forms on a clipboard that could easily have been done the night before.  Any prescriptions or follow-up appointments should be as automated as possible.

5.Quick responses

Patients expect a response to questions posed via text, email or an EHR portal in 24 hours or less. They also expect lab results to be posted online or emailed to them for easy viewing.

6.Transparent pricing

Patients expect guidance on how much services will cost, what will be covered by their insurance and what will not. If a referral is made, the patient should be informed whether it will be in network or out of network.


Patients don’t get sick only during business hours. Consider having a telehealth system where patients can reach a doctor or nurse online to consult and get prescriptions until they can be followed up in the office.

If you haven’t incorporated these ideas yet, it’s time to do so before being left in the dust!

What other amenities or conveniences have you incorporated into your office.  Share your ideas and comments in the comment box below.