- With an increasing number of ways to get healthcare in the U.S., medical practices are focusing on access and the patient experience to stay competitive, according to a new survey by the Medical Group Management Association.
- Eighty-five percent of respondents said they conduct patient satisfaction surveys and, of those, more than 70% do so at least monthly, the survey found.
- The Practice Operations Survey analyzed an array of benchmarking data, including use of patient portals, wait times, call volumes, hours of operation and length of appointment.
Based on information from 791 practices nationwide, the survey shows practices are devoting more effort to knowing their patients and understanding their patient experiences to identify areas for improvement. For example, 61% of respondents had taken action to reduce wait time, with the median wait times between 10 and 15 minutes.
The survey results echo an April MGMA Stat poll that found 80% of 100 health professionals modified their practices to improve patient access.
There is room for access improvement. According to the survey, only 26% of practices see patients on Saturday, and just 11% are open on Sunday. Of those, nearly all are primary care or multispecialty practices.
The survey also showed differences in patient portal usage, with accessing test results being the most common reason.
Notably, only 25% of medical practices reported preparing an annual budget. That could leave some practices ill-prepared to support the very activities they’ve carved out to improve, David Gans, MGMA senior fellow industry affairs, said in a prepared statement.