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The Power of Patient Feedback: Why Healthcare and Dental Practices Must Listen

June 29, 2023

While medical professionals strive to provide the best care, it's easy to neglect one essential aspect of the whole process: gathering feedback. Only through feedback can practices find the best ways to improve their services, facilities, and the patient experience in general. In this piece, we'll take a look at why practices across the healthcare field should actively seek and implement patient feedback.

Enhancing Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty

According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, patient satisfaction is a key driver of patient loyalty and retention. Practices that actively seek patient feedback can more easily identify areas they can improve, whether it's clinical procedures, information provided by staff, facilities, or even bedside manner. By improving trouble areas, practices increase patient satisfaction, foster loyalty, and generate positive word-of-mouth referrals through things like online reviews.

Identifying Operational Gaps and Streamlining Processes

It's easy to think that patient feedback is most crucial for improving the quality of care, but it can also help streamline processes within healthcare organizations. A study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management found that feedback from patients was essential in understanding and resolving issues related to wait times, appointment scheduling, and overall clinic efficiency. By tailoring questions for patients, you can gather feedback on administrative processes like scheduling, billing, insurance, wait times, and more. This can ultimately result in time and cost savings and can even help reduce the burden on clinical staff, which can result in more employee satisfaction as well.

Mitigating Medical Errors and Improving Patient Safety

Hospital deaths due to medical errors are estimated to be nearly 100 thousand a year, according to The Institute of Medicine. As healthcare organizations seek to improve these numbers, patient feedback will play a pivotal role. By actively seeking patient feedback, healthcare and dental practices can identify and rectify potential safety risks, ensuring a safer environment for patients.

Driving Continuous Quality Improvement

Last but not least, feedback is essential for continual quality improvement. It's not enough to simply gather feedback once or even occasionally. Practices should strive to create comprehensive programs that gather feedback from patients at every step of the journey. Whether it's the initial intake, the procedure, aftercare, billing, or what have you, practices should be listening closely to what patients say at each step. Only then can they truly know where to allocate resources as they improve their practices and patient satisfaction.


Patient-centric care is more crucial than ever. Dental and healthcare practices that don't provide the highest level of attention to each phase of the patient journey will begin to lose patients to those that do. Patient feedback programs are crucial for ensuring the longevity of any healthcare practice, whether it's a single location or a larger healthcare group.

If you're curious about how Swell is helping practices improve the patient experience, visit our website for more information.

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