As part of your practice’s efforts to offer the best healthcare possible and a patient experience that increases retention, one phrase should be at the center of both—customer service. From your receptionists welcoming patients to their appointments to the workers in a call center answering the phone, exceptional customer service should be a part of your culture. Why does customer service matter in healthcare?
You Can Receive Incentives for Great Customer Service
Over the past decade, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), a national survey, started being administered to patients in a healthcare environment. The survey sought to develop an effective standard to compare hospitals and other healthcare facilities and assess the patient experience. In this survey, patients evaluate providers based on customer service categories, including:
- Information given at discharge
- Communication with doctors, nurses and other providers at the facility
- Communication about treatments and medication
If you work in a hospital, you can actually receive financial incentives thanks to great performance on HCAHPS!
Your Patients Are Your Customers
Most doctors and nurses get into healthcare thanks to their compassion and love of helping others, which makes business fall to the wayside sometimes. However, your patients are, in a sense, your practice’s customers. Deciding to visit the doctor or go to the hospital can be scary and confusing, especially if they haven’t been in a while. How much healthier would your practice and your patients be if, when a patient visited with a cold looking for help, you were able to give them such an excellent experience that they scheduled an annual physical and other preventative care?
How to Improve Your Practice’s Customer Service
- Communicate clearly and effectively with your patients. Authentic communication requires verbal and nonverbal communication. What is it saying to patients when you won’t make eye contact while listening to their concerns?
- Take any concerns or complaints at your practice seriously. Improving customer service is a process, and your patients are there to help. If a patient persistently complains about the forwarding system that routes calls to the right provider, take a look to see how it could be improved. You might be surprised how much a single small change can transform a patient’s attitude!
- Always make follow-up calls after an appointment. A short survey emailed to a patient or a call to inquire about how they are feeling can make sure that the patient knows they are not just a number and that you genuinely care about their health.
Improve Customer Service with Medical Business Partners
Medical Business Partners conducts many coding audits, leads educational trainings and forums and boot camps for staff and physicians. To learn more about our coding and billing services, start-up consulting, credentialing services or other ways we can help you increase your revenues, please contact us through our website or by calling (202) 390-3966.