In today's competitive market, superior customer service isn't just nice to have--it's imperative--for physician practices to thrive. According to experts interviewed for a recent Medical Economics article, there are four main areas of patient satisfaction on which you should focus your attention:
- Processes: Remember that patients often enter your office with some form of anxiety or trepidation, which could be related to their diagnosis, the financial burden of receiving care, or both. "Patient anxiety is often further increased by annoying things that a practice does," according to Ellison Consulting Group President Sandra Ellison, an adjunct faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership's Colorado Springs, Colo., campus. Excessive wait time and staff members asking the same questions repeatedly are troublesome symptoms of flawed processes.
- Environment: Aim to strike the right balance. Sometimes, an office can be too casual, such as with unprofessional dress or poor decorum among employees, or it can be the other extreme in that it is overly cold and intimidating. Take the demographics and particular needs of your patients into account.
- Culture: "Hire for personality over experience," said Dr. Victor J. Marks, section chief of dermatologic surgery at Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa. Once you know what kind of experience you want to create for patients, hire people that fit your vision and train them to make up for any lack of experience, he added.
- Amenities: As is often repeated, magazines should appeal to wide interests and be up-to-date. Other touches, such as waterfalls or warm cookies "can surprise and delight patients, thereby differentiating one's practice from the competition," Ellison said.
To learn more:
- read the article from ModernMedicine