See Your Practice As A Patient Does
- Posted on: Oct 15 2018
Patient Experience Is About More Than a Friendly Face
Positive patient experience means treating a patient with respect. That covers the very basics of patient experience, but it’s about so much more than simply smiling more and spending more time with patients. Consumers expect more from their providers today than they have in the past.
Vein care is a low volume, high margin business. You don’t see as many patients as primary care but your average revenue per patient is much higher. Primary care has an average revenue per patient of $120 to $150. Vein care has an average revenue per patient over the course of treatment between $2500 – $3500. You cannot afford to let a single patient seek treatment elsewhere. Patients today have freedom of choice and they know it. Make every patient feel like they are special.
- Train your staff to answer the phone. On a daily, weekly and monthly basis, monitor incoming patient inquiries to track calls that do and do not convert to new appointments. Constantly evaluate how effective your staff is at converting patient inquiries to new consultation appointments. Poor staff training can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per year. Patients do not move forward in this process if your staff is perceived as rude or uncaring, or if they don’t respect the patient’s time. If a patient calls your office, there’s no reason for them not to schedule an appointment unless they are uncomfortable with the level of service they receive.
Train your staff to do things that prompt people to take action. Train them to treat patients the way they would want to be treated. To…
- Answer the phone in 3 rings or less;
- Do not put the patient on hold for longer than 15-20 seconds;
- Use a positive and friendly tone of voice;
- Be well versed in vein disease and treatment options; and
- Reassure the patient about the clinical competencies of the doctor(s) and the practice.
- Keep the office clean. Everything that a patient sees in your office will translate into their perception as to the quality of care to be provided. Dirt and grime are little things that are easy to avoid. If you run out of soap or towels in the bathroom, if paperwork looks disorganized on the counters, if there’s an odor in the office, patients register that as part of their total experience. Make sure your staff knows the importance of quickly changing out toilet paper or paper towels if they notice something is missing.
- Experience things like a patient would. Have a friend experience your office – start on the phone with the appointment scheduling process. Next, enter the office and see how long they stand at the reception desk before they are greeted. Sit in the waiting room and record the time it takes to be brought to an exam room under normal circumstances. Observe the environment through a patient’s eyes to decide whether it feels warm and welcoming.
It can be difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you see the place day after day and are familiar with the processes. Have your staff try this exercise and make suggestions about what they would change if they were a patient. You may find that some of your processes need an adjustment. This can really change the experience for your patients and make a positive impact
- Follow up after a visit. This is something patients will remember. When you call your patient simply to ask how someone is doing after an appointment, they take note. You are never guaranteed to keep a patient after they leave your doors, but this follow-up call is something they’ll remember. Thank them for choosing your practice and ask if they have any questions or concerns.
- Ask patients about their experience. As a patient is leaving your office, you have the opportunity to find out whether they had a positive experience. If they did have a positive experience, you can request a 5-Star review on your website or Facebook page. If they didn’t have a positive experience, you have the opportunity to improve their satisfaction, show them you care, and learn about how the practice can improve future patient experiences.
- Set the bar higher for patient experience. Strive to be the best in all areas of your practice, administrative and clinical. Make every patient interaction with a staff member a positive experience. Seeing your practice through a patient’s perspective requires empathy. Take away their frustration so they can be an ambassador for your practice and tell others about their positive outcomes and experiences.
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