The Second Deadly Sin for Medical Practices
A while ago I started a series of blogs that I have personally entitled the 7 Deadly Sins of practice management. Today, I’d like to talk about the second deadly sin: Bad Customer Service.
In the old days of medicine, people had to go to the doctor and really didn’t have that much choice as to who they would see. They could only travel so far due to time and travel technology, but that has changed. There are now more physicians per capita than ever before and your practice is no longer sacrosanct.
In the old days, you could easily say we are now “accepting” patients and patients would actually flock to your door. That doesn’t happen anymore.
Okay, enough with the “old days” they are dead and gone.
Now patients demand customer service. They think their time is as important as your time. They think that if they don’t like how they are treated they’ll just go down the street or down the hall and find another physician. Or, heck… they can travel to the medical meccas of the world….. Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson, etc.
How to cure this deadly sin? Try the following:
1. Change your sign from now accepting patients to now welcoming patients!
2. If you are running more than 15 minutes late, have your staff call the patient to let then know. The patient then can decide to wait, do errands, or reschedule. There is no ‘downside’ to this. If you have a sign that says if the patient is 15 minutes late they must then reschedule, then you should treat them the same.
3. If you order diagnostic testing, be sure and contact the patient with the results of that testing as quickly as possible. Good news or bad, the patient is waiting nervously.
4. If you are not accepting credit cards or HSA cards (Health Savings Account), you are doing yourself and the patient a disservice.
5. If the patient is confused by the bills, by the tests ordered or for any reason; have the appropriate person sit down with them and explain it until they get it.
6. Have the front desk answer the phone with a smile on their face, it makes a difference in tone.
If you have other ideas, let us know so we can share them with other providers!!