Happy patientsHappy patients are loyalWill refer other patients to youThey help you perform even better by giving you professional satisfactionGreat emotional income - if your patients are happy, you will be happy too !
Why we continue to fool ourselves• Only 1 of 20 unhappy patients bother to complain.• Others walk out of your clinic and tell 10 others about their bad experience.• Complain online Poor ratings cause harm• Google yourself !
Build a Patient Service Culture in your Clinic’s DNAYou cannot do it yourself !Need to ensure your staff treats your patients wellCreate magic with Right people Right processes Right environment
Staff – your most valuable investment• Employ the right people - hire for attitude• Pay them well . Losing even one patient because your receptionist was rude can be expensive !• Train them. Respect them. Appreciate them• Employ enough staff – multi-tasking is tedious and dangerous too• Make sure your staff works well as a team• Do not shout at them in front of yourpatients• Working in a doctor’s clinic is difficult.Help them to do their best
Staff – your most valuable investmentHow well does your staff treat your patients when you are not in the clinic ?If you treat your staff well, they will treat your patients well !
Processes to improve workflow• Doctors are good at following clinical flowcharts - we need to implement flowcharts for improving workflow in the clinic !• Need processes which the staff can follow How to answer the phone How to greet a new patient How to help them fill up a formDoctors usually create bottlenecks !
Clinic ambience• Do not pinch pennies ! Would you be happy sitting in your waiting room ?• Is drinking water / tea available ?• Rest rooms should be spic and span• Play patient education videos while your patients are waiting• Do not overbook - respect your patient’s time
Invest in technology Automate processes Online appointment booking Reminder SMSes to reduce “noshows”Learn from dentists and vets !EMRs ( Electronic Medical Records) Email test results to patients !
Telephone etiquetteHow well is the phone answered ?This is your clinic’s public face ! Answer phone within 3 rings Establish a maximum holding time Designate a time to return patient telephone callsEmailsMobile
Simple to do – but not easy !Need to understand your patient’s wants, needs and desiresAsk your patients for help !We can learn a lot from the hospitality industry which puts customers first
Measure patient satisfaction !“You get what you measure.”• Comment cards – It was easy to get an appointment. – I was greeted in a friendly manner. – My doctor answered all my questions. – I would recommend this practice to friends.• Telephone calls after their visit.• Internet surveys by email• Feedback form on the website• Mystery shoppers
“The patient will never care how much you know, until they know how much you care !”Doctors take pride in their professional competencePatients have no way of judging this. Assume all doctors are technically competent !Judge you by your behaviour
The 10 Commandments for your staffThe patient is never an interruption - the patient is your work. Everything else can wait !Greet every patient with a friendly smile.Call patients by their name.For patients, all staff members are as important as the doctor !Never argue with a patient. Be a good listener.
The 10 Commandments for your staffDon’t say, "I dont know.” Say “ I will find out”.The patient pays your salary - treat him like your boss !Choose positive wordsBrighten every patients day. This will make your own life happier.Always go the extra mile. Exceeding patient expectations is the best way of keeping your patients loyal!
Dealing with unhappy patients• Dissatisfaction = Mismatch between Expectation and Reality• Satisfied patients will tell three other people• Dissatisfied patients will tell 20 others.• However, if you can satisfy an unhappy patient, he will tell at least 50 others, and become your most valuable ally !
How to handle angry patients! RAPSAND• R = Re-establish rapport ( empathy)• A = Agreement ( get the patient to say Yes)• P = Problem ( define this)• S = Solution• A = Ask Permission ( is the patient happy with the solution you have offered ?)• N = Next step ( Follow up)• D = Document
Commonest complaints patients have about doctorsDoctor did not explain properlyNot enough time with the doctorUnnecessary long wait timeBilling mistakesRude staffLack of transparency aboutcosts