Medical Mystery Shopping Myths

Here at (e)Merge, we measure patient perception of our client’s practices by sending in medical mystery shoppers. They evaluate and document the patient experience both over the phone and in the office. Though medical mystery shopping is a thriving industry, there are still misconceptions surrounding it. Here, we debunk the three top myths:

Myth #1: Mystery shopping projects will take a lot of time and attention away from real patients.

Truth: When you are working with a company that specialized in the healthcare industry, they understand the flow of a practice and know the importance of making the process simple and efficient to minimize disturbances. Shoppers are trained to know if a patient comes in with an emergency, they are to remove themselves so those patients can be seen.

Myth #2: You get the same information from a patient survey.

Truth: In a survey, you typically get extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied respondents. You rarely get those in the middle, and thus, a skewed perception. Surveys also typically ask more process-focused questions. Mystery shopping measures perceptions and feelings. Lastly, surveys rarely break down demographics, but lump data into one gigantic category.

Myth #3: It’s hard to implement change based on the results.

Truth: The information garnered from a professional mystery shop can be used to not only improve standards, but increase patient referrals and volume. First, it’s important that leadership be on the same page and have a strategic plan before results are shared with other office staff members. Then, leadership must hold trainings to implement improvements. A dedicated consultant can help design these workshops, implement strategy and make the most of the mystery shopping finds. A great consultant can really shift the culture of an organization.

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