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Why Doctors Need To Manage The Patient Experience

Now more than ever is the patient experience, or the impression you leave on your patients, a critical factor in the success of your practice. It is important to note that people are far more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones, which can seriously damage your reputation. Patients can now share their feedback online and on social media, aside from with the doctor who referred them.

Therefore, you need to control the ‘patient experience’ and make sure it reflects how you want to present yourself to the outside world.

In this article I will look at some ways in which you can manage and enhance the patient experience.

1) Convenience

How easy or frustrating is it for patients to interact with yourself and your practice? Consider things such as:

– booking appointments (is it efficient, do you offer online bookings, is there a long waiting list, etc.); – parking facilities (is it easy to park nearby, is it free, etc.); – condition of the waiting room (e.g. is it clean and modern, is there a kids area);

First impressions do count. Think about what the patient experiences before they even meet yourself.

2) Consistency

Is there a consistent process that everyone in the practice follows when dealing with patients? How well trained is your staff? When you recruit, do you hire for the right ‘attitude’? It is important that you control how your staff interact with your patients, and the best way of doing this is to have a consistent approach that everyone adheres to.

3) Communication

How well do you communicate with your patients before and after you see them? Do they get send an information pack before they come in? How do you remind them of the appointment? How about following the appointment, is there somehow you can leave the patient feeling better, relieved by communicating with them? Do you ask your patients for feedback in a formal way? This is a great opportunity to find out how you can improve your service.

4) Conversation

How do you conduct yourself when meeting patients? Most patients don’t want to be ‘told’ these days, they want to be genuinely listened to, and engage in conversation with their doctor. This means you will need excellent interpersonal skills if you are to build a long-term relationship with your patients.

Summary – the patient experience

These 4 C’s are just some examples of how you can improve your patient experience. I’m sure that if you sit together with your team and discuss this, they will come up with many other little improvements that will make a difference to the bottom line, literally!

About Yves Schoof

I specialise in managing and coordinating the financial affairs of medical professionals and have been recognised as one of the best financial planners in Australia. I am a Certified Financial Planner and member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

As I understand your time is extremely valuable and scarce, I am able to offer flexible meetings times, including outside business hours and during the weekend. I can even come and meet you somewhere convenient, or talk via videoconference on Skype.

My first consultation is free. I allocate up to 90 minutes to discuss your personal circumstances and to establish how I may best assist you. Where you already have an existing adviser, I would be happy to offer a second opinion. I always quote a fixed dollar fee before we start working together.

Please contact me on yves@affluenceprivate.com.au or call me direct on 0432 885 295. You can follow me on Twitter @YvesSchoof or connect with me on Linkedin to receive new articles.

Disclaimer

Yves Schoof and Affluence Private Wealth are Authorised Representatives of Synchron, AFS Licence No. 243313. 
 The information posted is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial product advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and the nature of the relevant financial product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or other offer document prior to making a decision.


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