Promoting Professionalism: Creating the Excellent Patient Experience Program
The concept of customer care is part of the future in the dental/medical profession. The phrase “customer care” was chosen to focus on the fact that patients are paying customers that have a choice and that the experience may include more than just the patient. In this day and age, there is more competition than ever, and consumers have a plethora of information to make informed decisions. Many physicians are using advertising such as radio, television and print ads to broaden public awareness. As a result, the medical profession is not what it used to be.
This increase in competition, patients who are very knowledgeable, online customer satisfaction surveys, higher patient expectations, along with more of the pie being shared by insurance companies, coupled with the need for more personnel to do the added paperwork, all contribute to a decrease in the bottom line. In an effort to help maintain and grow a practice, many healthcare providers are looking harder at the professionalism of the team and the total patient experience.
Studies indicate that the patient’s perception of the office team and environment is an extension of the physician/dentist and that a choice to change their professional care was often not attributed to the healthcare they received. Impressions are powerful in any meeting or professional treatment. They are intuitive behavior, read by the conscious and subconscious mind and can be made over the telephone as well as in person. It is difficult for any physician/doctor to overcome a poor first impression made by his/her team or surroundings. As a result, physicians and doctors may be losing patients and patient referrals every day that they are unaware of.
Today, success is measured by the whole office encounter, which includes treatment and the total patient experience. A smooth-running office requires people skills which allow you to be immediately liked, trusted and respected. In today’s competitive medical arenas, proper medical and dental office protocol is expected by patients. However, for most healthcare professionals, soft skills are one of the most underestimated, yet most important areas to improve upon in their offices. Why leave yourself open to the problem?