As a physician, you may struggle at times to figure out what your patients really want from you. Do they want prescriptions, do they want to get in and out of your office quickly, do they want to know what their lab work revealed, do they want to feel better? These are likely some of the questions you have asked yourself as a way to reassure yourself that your practice is running smoothly and to your patients’ satisfaction. On the surface these are appropriate questions.
I want to challenge you to go deeper.
Research done by The PwC Health Research Institute showed customer service expectations of patients to be extremely high. So high, in fact, that if your staff is not treating your patients as though they have just arrived at a hotel, then you likely are receiving demerits from them.
The simple act of being greeted warmly by your staff can set the stage for your patients to get better outcomes and increase your retention of them in your practice. Retained patients facilitate consistent outcomes for them and a better bottom line for you!
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the first thing my patients experience from my staff a warm smile and a welcoming greeting?
- Are they made comfortable in my lobby?
- Is my lobby impeccably clean and tidy?
- If I were my patient, would I enjoy or endure the wait to be seen?
When you put yourself in the shoes of your patients, you can quickly identify areas for improvement in your facilities and the patient experience. If it would delight you, then congratulations! You and your staff are doing well and can expect to reap the rewards of patient referrals, which is the best way to grow.
If, on the other hand, you uncover some gaps, then you can directly enhance the experience for your patients by making some simple changes. Don’t overlook systematizing this part of the experience for your patients, and investing time into training your staff on the importance of friendly behavior.
Need more impetus? Studies have shown that patients are twice as prone to leave a doctor who has an unfriendly staff. Ouch! A bit of reinforcement on the power of being positive will go a long way with your patients and will set you apart from the practice down the street.
While the items on your patients’ wish list are more comprehensive than being treated with warmth and kindness, it all begins here. If you get this part right, then you increase your chances of satisfying the rest of their medical needs.
Hotze Elite Physicians is at the forefront of training physicians and their staff in a hospitality model of medicine. Contact us for more information at 281-698-8698.