Within your healthcare practice, you need to shine a spotlight on the PX (patient experience). In relation to the consumer study conducted by The Beryl Institute, one of the biggest requests by respondents was to be treated as human and not as a commodity by their medical practitioners. And while many of you within the healthcare business would refute the suggestion that you don’t treat your patients with the dignity and respect, they deserve, there may still be fundamental errors within your practice.
Do your patients get a warm welcome when they enter your building?
Or do your reception staff deal with enquiries and bookings with abruptness and coldness? You need to take time during the hiring process, hiring staff with a kind bedside manner that exists not only at the bedside, but within all facets of the patient journey, from the reception desk onwards. You need to monitor your staff, take note of interactions, and pay attention to any complaints given by your patients with regards to the care they have been shown. In some cases, you might want to enroll your staff onto customer service training programmes to improve their level of care at work.
Do you spend sufficient time with your patients?
Especially within medical practices, many doctors and nurses have an allotted time to deal with the patients in their care. This usually extends to around ten minutes at a time, especially when there are a lot of people scheduled during the day. But here’s the thing. If you work in such a practice, you might misdiagnose your patient if you don’t give them the time, they need to speak about their health issue. And your patient might lose patience, especially if they are instructed to leave without being listened to. As a practitioner, you need to give your patients the time and care they deserve. You might take on fewer patients each day, or hire another member of staff if your practice is in high demand. And you might find ways to be more productive, using such tools as time-management and speech recognition software in healthcare, so you spend less time with administrative tasks, and spend more time with the people who matter; your patients!
Do your patients know what you are talking about?
In any profession, it’s easy to get carried away with jargon. But especially within the healthcare industry, care needs to be taken. When you are talking to your patient about their medical condition, or when talking about medications, you need to pay attention to your wording. If your patient doesn’t understand you, they might not have the ability to follow the advice you are trying to give. Be clear and precise with your instructions, taking time to make sure your patient understands what you are telling them. And explain medical terminologies that may be unfamiliar to them, so they a) don’t make any mistakes within their self-care, and b) feel as if you are talking to them like a human being and not as a commodity.
Here’s the thing about the healthcare business; your patients don’t have to use your services. As with any business, there will be other practices operating near you, so if you don’t afford your patients the care and respect, they expect from you, you might lose those patients when (and forgive the pun) they lose patience with you. Think on this today, and consider what you might need to do to improve the PX within your practice.