How Does Patient Feedback Lead to Improvements in Medical Practice?

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    Doctors Magazine

    How Does Patient Feedback Lead to Improvements in Medical Practice?

    In the dynamic world of healthcare, patient feedback is a crucial catalyst for positive change. From an Anesthesiologist's enhanced appointment management to a Life Coach's impactful session summaries, we've compiled seven experiences shared by diverse healthcare professionals. These stories illustrate how listening to patients can lead to significant improvements in medical practice and patient care.

    • Enhanced Thoughtfulness in Appointment Management
    • Reframing Weight Discussion Techniques
    • Patient-Centered De-Prescribing Practices
    • Prompt Neurosurgical Intervention Yields Results
    • Extended Appointment Hours Increase Satisfaction
    • Patient Feedback Boosts Staff Performance
    • Summaries Enhance Session Impactfulness

    Enhanced Thoughtfulness in Appointment Management

    During the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when our practice transitioned to telemedicine and had to cancel on-site appointments, a poignant experience underscored the importance of patient feedback. A teenage patient, who patiently waited until we resumed clinics, shared her disappointment about the canceled appointment. She expressed how much she was looking forward to it and conveyed that the cancellation made her feel undervalued.

    This feedback was a powerful reminder that patients' experiences and emotions matter deeply. Recognizing that feedback is a gift, I immediately implemented changes in our approach to appointment cancellations. I became much more thoughtful—canceling rarely and offering earlier rescheduled appointments whenever possible. The goal became to ensure that patients never felt undervalued or insignificant.

    The tangible improvement was evident in subsequent patient interactions. We cannot control life's events; sometimes canceling is inevitable, but we can approach it in a thoughtful way.

    Elisha Peterson Md Med Faap Fasa
    Elisha Peterson Md Med Faap FasaAnesthesiologist and Pain Medicine Physician, Elisha Peterson MD PLLC

    Reframing Weight Discussion Techniques


    She said: "The BMI chart above the scale feels like fat shaming and is a poor way to start an office visit."

    We thought: "Well, the chart is nailed into the wall. What can we replace it with?"

    New sign: "Pretend it's your IQ."

    And, we had a team discussion and agreed to talk about weight only after asking someone: "Are you happy with your current weight?" When a patient answered "no" it was a green light to be consultative.

    Susan Keane Baker
    Susan Keane BakerPatient Experience Expert, MPS

    Patient-Centered De-Prescribing Practices

    During my first year as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I had a patient who wanted to come off clonazepam. I started a conventional taper schedule by reducing it by 25% every week. When we got down to 1 mg of clonazepam, she started having severe withdrawal symptoms, something I had not seen before. My colleagues told me she was most likely drug-seeking; however, that did not make sense. I listened to my patient, believed every symptom she told me she had, and searched for a way to help her. In doing so, I found the Ashton Manual and benzodiazepine support groups. I have now shifted my practice to de-prescribing and reducing harm to my patients. We must remember as providers that we swear an oath to do no harm. In order to keep that oath, we must listen to our patients and think outside the box, even if it means not following the conventional medicine narrative.

    Jezel Rosa
    Jezel RosaPsychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Levelheaded Mind

    Prompt Neurosurgical Intervention Yields Results

    The patient arrived paralyzed from a cervical spine fracture after a fall. After the evaluation and MRI of the cervical spine, the patient was taken immediately to the operating room for decompression and posterior cervical fusion and stabilization. After the surgery, the patient recovered good strength in the upper and lower extremities. Prompt neurosurgical intervention led to significant improvement postoperatively.

    Gentian Toshkezi
    Gentian ToshkeziMedical Director of Neurosurgery department, Meritus Medical Center

    Extended Appointment Hours Increase Satisfaction

    Something that happened to improve our dental practice was when a patient talked to us about the need to have appointments available beyond the standard daily times. We used the feedback to ask our other patients about the possibility, and, based on their responses, we began offering extended times for appointments both early in the morning and later in the evening after work.

    This is one tangible difference that feedback made in our office. Our patients are happier, and we've gotten more bookings because of it.

    Fadi Swaida
    Fadi SwaidaDentist, Bond Street Dental

    Patient Feedback Boosts Staff Performance

    In our Clinical Nutrition Department, we've seen how patient feedback can really boost staff performance. In our experience, actively incorporating patient feedback has been instrumental in boosting both performance and productivity within our team.

    We've found that sharing patient feedback with our support staff has been particularly beneficial. The administrative and patient support roles can often be undervalued, but when we relay patient feedback to these team members, they gain a clearer perspective on the impact of their work. This practice helps them pinpoint areas for improvement, leading to a more efficient and patient-centered service.

    Interestingly, even negative feedback has proven to be valuable. It provides our team with critical insights into what might not be working well and prompts us to take necessary corrective actions. This approach has fostered a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability within our department, ultimately enhancing the overall patient experience.

    Renato Fernandes
    Renato FernandesClinical Nutritionist, Saude Pulso

    Summaries Enhance Session Impactfulness

    One specific example was feedback from a client who expressed that while they found the sessions insightful, they sometimes felt overwhelmed by the amount of information discussed and wished for more concise summaries to help in their reflection and application post-session. Following this feedback, I now conclude each session with a brief summary of key points and an actionable plan for them to follow until the next appointment. By valuing their feedback through listening and acting upon it, I was able to provide more tailored and impactful guidance in their personal growth journey.

    Bayu Prihandito
    Bayu PrihanditoFounder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture