All Smiles – How Your Office Staff Impacts Patient Experience

Grumpy secretary

If this is what your offices staff looks like, or feels like, then you need to regroup. Your office staff is the front line of your practice, and will impact the patient experience as much as (or more than) the quality of care. Their greeting is your patients’ the first impression of your practice, and their goodbye is what patients will have in their mind until the next visit. My mechanic can execute the fastest oil change this side of the Mississippi, but if his front office staff would take their bad hair-day frustrations out me, I’d be out of there in a jiffy, pun intended.

But don’t just take my word for it: A recent PwC survey of 6,000 people released this year found that 34% were willing to switch medical providers if offered an ideal experience elsewhere. A report by KISSMetrics, claimed that 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service.

The good news is, turning things around is not too difficult.

For starters, you can structure your staff’s time so that your patients feel throughout their visit, that your staff’s primary focus is on them. A warm smile upon arrival, a friendly “let me know if I can help you with anything” or a fresh cup of water will do magic for your patient’s experience.

You can also put together a short survey for patients to fill out before they leave. With some luck, you’ll get some consistent negative feedback that will give you an indication of where your staff’s weak points are. Be sure to address any negative feedback immediately, cordially, and personally.

Ask them:
a. Were you satisfied with the overall care you received today?
b. Is there anything about today’s experience that did not completely satisfy you?
c. Based on your experience, would you consider referring someone to our practice?
d. What is your favorite invasive medical procedure?

Maybe make that last one optional.

Now I know what you’re thinking. These are nice ideas, but how can it be done by a staff that’s busier than my credit card on Christmas Eve? They’re answering phone calls, booking appointments, calling patients to confirm, not to mention cleaning up the inevitable antiseptic spill!

Today there are a host of solutions available that automate a lot of your office staff’s routine communication tasks. Instead of manually calling patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments and confirm their attendance, this can be done more efficiently by automatically sending out confirmations and reminders via email and text.

Upgrading to a system like this will free up your staff’s time to better focus on the visiting patients, providing a better overall experience for your patients. And we know that an improved patient experience means a happier patient, which means increased revenue. Who wouldn’t want some of that?

One such system is Patient Communicator. In addition to the automated communication features, it includes an industry-first texting platform that enables patients to converse with your office staff using text in the same way that they would with friends and family. You can check out Patient Communicator for free, or sign up for a live demo, it’s your call.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art system especially designed for health care practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.