Patient satisfaction should be the top metric driving changes across the entire medical field, but it’s even more important in behavioral healthcare facilities than in most settings. Many behavioral healthcare facilities treat patients who are not there voluntarily, which can create unique problems with compliance. When patients seek behavioral healthcare, they’re more likely to remain compliant with treatment plans if they feel confident in the facility and satisfied with the care that they receive.

Most behavioral health clinicians and support staff enter the field because they want to help people. Patient satisfaction is almost always at the top of their minds, but ultimately, it’s up to a facility’s higher-ups to determine the best path forward in improving this vital metric. They can find five ways to get started below.

1. Improve Patient Comfort

Many behavioral healthcare facilities provide inpatient care, which means that patients are there 24/7 until they are released. Patient comfort is important to improving satisfaction rates, so don’t skimp on furniture in common rooms and individual patient rooms.

The difference between a brand-new, comfortable, well-designed behavioral healthcare mattress and a sagging, old alternative, for example, can be huge. Patients provided with new mattresses will sleep better. Their moods will improve as a result, as will the patients’ satisfaction with the care that they receive and their compliance with treatment plans.

2. Reduce Patient Wait Times

Even in inpatient settings, people are often left waiting for inappropriately long periods before they can see the doctors or nurses that provide their care. Facilities that have patient wait times of 15 minutes or less have much higher average satisfaction ratings. Try implementing wave scheduling instead of traditional scheduling, don’t overbook, and make sure people heading to a behavioral health facility for outpatient care can be seen within at least a week.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Aesthetics

It’s surprising how many behavioral healthcare providers assume that aesthetics don’t really matter, when in fact, research shows that the aesthetics of a facility directly impact patients’ psychology. Simple redecoration can reduce a facility’s rates of seclusion and restraint use surprisingly fast, which has obvious implications for patient satisfaction rates.

4. Get Personal

Behavioral healthcare providers should try to provide a personal touch, whether that means making follow-up calls to people who have come in for outpatient visits or getting to know those who are receiving inpatient care on a deeper level. When patients get released from the facility, providers should always make follow-up calls to ensure that they are progressing as intended and adhering to their medication plans. Taking this step can also help to improve satisfaction rates.

5. Communicate With Patients on Their Own Terms

Providers should pay attention to how their patients like to communicate and respond appropriately. In terms of outpatient care, that might mean choosing a different technological medium for patient follow-ups. Inside the facility, it may mean reaching out in different ways and allowing patients to respond on their own time and on their own terms.

Patient Satisfaction Should Always Be a Priority

Patient satisfaction rates can impact everything from how well behavioral healthcare recipients respond to treatment to whether they would suggest the facility to others in the future. It’s essential not just for maintaining optimal patient outcomes, but also for the facility’s reputation. Facility managers can view the tips above as a starting point and should continue to make changes as necessary based on patient feedback.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here