Direct primary care patient satisfaction. How do we improve it? When wait times are getting longer, patient management is getting harder, and people are struggling to access the care and attention they need, the direct primary care model is designed to put the patient satisfaction and communication at the forefront. 

We’ll provide you an understanding of what direct primary care is and how patient satisfaction is can be improved.

What is direct primary care?

Direct primary care (DPC) is a method of family care that uses annual or monthly membership fees rather than insurance. Many people use the term interchangeably with concierge medicine or concierge care. While similar, concierge care can encompass many different healthcare models (and tends to be more expensive because of it), while, as the name suggests, direct primary care focuses on primary care directly.

As patients, we know that billing processes through insurance can be tedious and time-consuming. This is true for providers as well.

In a traditional care model, here in the United States, you are always dealing with fee-for-service incentives from third party insurance companies. Even in concierge care, you may sometimes be dealing with insurance companies. With its focus on primary care directly, DPC providers eliminate the fee-for-service incentives through third party insurance companies and focus on fee-for-value over the length of the paid engagement with the provider. This is enticing for may providers and patients who have turned to direct primary care.

If a patient is paying a monthly or yearly fee for care, the dollars they spend must be closely tied with the value they see for their investment. For this reason, a focus on the continual improvement of direct primary care patient satisfaction is of critical importance for direct primary care providers.

Here are three quick tips to ensure your direct primary care patient satisfaction remains high.

Empower and personalize patient communication 

The ability to build trusted bonds with patients is something to be leveraged in direct primary care patient satisifaction as time-to-value can be accelerated.

Practitioners generally see fewer patients on a day-to-day basis in direct primary care, but their time per patient goes up. Given this, there is a lot of opportunity for direct primary care patient satisfaction to improve. Personal relationships are forged and trust is built. The more you get to know your patient the more beneficial the visits can be and the likelihood the patient will continue to renew their contract with you will improve.

Building relationships to improve direct primary care patient satisfaction doesn’t have to be difficult. Empathy, friendliness and intelligent conversation can do wonders in creating a bond with your patient. Active listening and sharing about your own life can make a huge difference in sometimes difficult healthcare conversations.

Direct primary care means families’ needs can be met as well. With more time per visit, it becomes possible to understand their family dynamic and health histories can be helpful. These types of interactions can help to accelerate pathways to care that make the most sense for the patient.

Families may only need one trusted physician. Make sure you build their trust so they choose you and stay with you. Building a longitudinal relationship providers can see their patients and address their needs more readily without requiring additional outside visits. Patients begin to feel more in control of their own care journey with their doctor alongside their family. 

Direct primary care compliments telehealth

Direct primary care patient satisfaction can be improved with telehealth tools and patient communication. No more juggling a ton of patients at a time. Providers can take time to text or call with their patients. Providers can meet patients where they are in a video visit with no waiting room required. 

The personal relationship practitioners establish with their patients is complimented through telehealth. Does a patient have a small health issue that doesn’t require a visit? Their doctor is a quick text or call away. Two-way texting is a great resource for direct primary care practices who value easy and accessible patient communication. 

Reduce stress

Stress is something every healthcare worker deals with on a day-to-day basis. With a more limited number of patients, call volume can drop significantly. Patients and healthcare staff can now decide how to communicate best in their workflows. This allows them to choose the tools that make the most sense for the physician-patient relationship. Providing choices for the patient can drastically improve the satisfaction of not only your patients, but your staff as well.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution in direct primary care patient satisfaction. As a provider you need to find the right fit for each patient. This said, having open lines of communication rarely fails to deliver a positive patient experience. Let your patients be a part of their care journey making decisions about how they want to be communicated with. Especially in direct primary care flexibility and ability to adapt to a patient’s needs is key.

See how simple patient communication can be with two weeks of free HIPAA compliant texting and all the other OhMD tools!