Recently my family and I visited the pediatrician again. There was a sign posted on the cabinet of the waiting room. I appreciate this intentional means of communicating to the patient that conversations are private. I presume many conversations held within a doctor’s office are sensitive, at least from the perspective of the patient. People have a hard enough time opening up about sensitive matters without worrying about who could overhear. Even children, maybe especially children, worry about perception. I know my 6 year old does not appreciate me discussing her bed wetting in front of anyone. She is constantly afraid of who might hear and think she’s younger than she is. Bless her.
According to Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys, there is a clear link between patient satisfaction and their perception of quality of care and profitability.
- Satisfied patients experience less stress themselves.
- Satisfied patients present less stress to medical staff, resulting in fewer errors and more profit.
- Satisfied patients also share their experiences with others and are willing to refer your practice or hospital to their friends and family.
Thus, it’s more important than ever to provide private confidentiality that goes beyond a doctor not repeating what other have confided in him or her. In addition to the fact that new HIPAA regulations allow for fines for breaches, medical professionals should safeguard their practices as well for repeat and referral business, not to mention the joy of knowing patients are as well served as possible.
One way to ensure patient satisfaction is through safeguarding supposedly private conversations with sound masking. A sound masking system gently hums in the background to provide speech privacy. Speech privacy means that passers-by don’t overhear conversations not meant for them. As patients themselves don’t hear every conversation or phone call in the hallway or office, they will come to realize that there really is such a thing as speech privacy.