Connections for Success

 

08.19.19

Three Keys to Providing Terrific Patient Service
Laurence Sophian

One of the cornerstones of a successful medical practice is terrific patient service. In a non-medical context, you would call it customer service, but patient service needs to go beyond simply fulfilling a patient’s demands. Here are three keys to getting it right:

  1. Service Design
    For any service business, when designing how you are going to provide the service, you are basically asking the question: What are you trying to achieve? In other words, what do you want to provide your patient? What does your patient want from you? What can you do to make the patient’s experience better? What can you afford to do? Identify these factors, and you are well on your way to providing excellent patient service.
  2. Service Delivery
    This category refers to how you are actually providing service to your patients in terms of process, people and place. Process refers to protocols and procedures that relate to all aspects of your medical practice, ranging from how a patient is treated from first contact to last to whether your employees are empowered to do their jobs in the most effective manner. People refers to your staff members: The need to ensure you have appropriate employees in the right positions, who are well trained and understand the goals and purpose of the practice. And place encompasses all aspects of your medical practice where patient interaction occurs, which includes on the phone, via email, on the patient portal and within the practice itself. None of this should be random. Intentionally develop all three aspects, giving thought to what exactly you want your practice to achieve and how to make that happen. Regularly query your staff and patients for feedback and suggestions.
  3. Service Recovery
    Service recovery is required when medical care does not go as planned. Mistakes inevitably happen. How do you or your staff, or the practice as a whole, respond to errors and problems? Service recovery should be quick and convenient and, ideally, occur just once. On one level, service recovery refers to issues such as having a recovery plan in case of a disaster such as a ransomware attack. But it also applies to any aspect of patient service and requires that you create approaches, both practical and philosophical, about how your practice will respond to difficult issues that may arise.

Related Read: “The Business Side of Running a Medical Practice” 

The highest level of patient service does not occur by accident. It is something your practice creates with intention, attention and energy. By purposefully focusing on these three factors, your medical practice can excel at providing great patient service.

For more information, contact Larry Sophian at lsophian@orba.com or 312.670.7444. Visit ORBA.com to learn more about our Health Care Group.

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