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(e)Merge - Helping medical practices grow


(e)Merging Practice Growth Trends:

  June Update




Are Your Physicians Hurting the Patient Experience?

Everyone within a healthcare organization contributes to the patient experience.  The focus is often placed solely on those spending the most time with patients: front desk attendants and nurses or assistants.  However, support staff is not always the only employees in need of brushing up on their customer service skills.  In a recent article by the "Wall Street Journal", reference is made to a study conducted by "Health Affairs", in which it is found that few patients actually feel comfortable speaking with their physicians.  Words such as, "authoritarian", "uninterested", and "too busy" were used by those surveyed to describe feelings towards their physician. 

With the ultimate goal of an appointment being full enlightenment about a current medical condition, it is alarming to find patients are leaving offices without this conclusion.  While doctors exist to offer medical advice, this study found many patients are unwilling to insert their opinions into conversations about diagnosis or treatment.  One complaint commonly overheard from physicians is that patients' health is not improving because they are not accurately adhering to the advice given.  Perhaps the unwillingness of patients to engage in discussion or offer interjection to the conversation is the reason for this result. 

While focusing on improving the customer service of our clients, we often introduce DISC assessment workshops based on how to best implement changes based upon findings.  This assessment is a brief survey which ultimately discovers one of four communication styles.  In life, and work, each of these personalities reacts differently to the situations they are placed in.  We always suggest to our clients not only the employees, but also the physicians use these assessments.  However, the majority of the time we find disinterest and unwillingness to participate from the leaders of these organizations. 

Attitude and an eagerness to improve communication with others is contagious and employees follow the examples set by their managers and superiors.  Ultimately, the conclusions found in this survey show there is an abundance of physicians exuding disinterest in communication and the inability to listen.  If customers and patients are experiencing these mannerisms, employees and staff are likely to as well.  The ultimate take away lies within not only assessing the customer service put forth from employees, but analyzing the experience patients and employees are having with the physicians.  While satisfaction stems from the experience as a whole, a practice cannot retain and grow their patient base upon feelings of apprehension.  Furthermore, organizations cannot expect to maintain current staff if an open line of communication does not exist. 


May's Highlights:

The highlight for the month of May was our time spent with the various MGMA chapters across the nation; having the opportunity to meet with these groups everywhere from Oregon to Kentucky was truly a pleasure.  Each state chapter brought a new and exciting perspective on the healthcare field.

Throughout the month, we were able to meet and listen to presentations from numerous innovative and enlightening individuals.  Healthcare is always in a state of improvement and meeting with those that are part of the progress is an inspiration!


Put it into Practice!

Patients that have great relationships with their physicians are more likely to have higher levels of patient satisfaction; here are five tips from the American Academy of Family Physicians for improving relationships with patients:

  1. Establish a sense of trust- understand each patient's values, goals and challenges.
  2. Uncover patients' actual needs- take the time to probe a bit deeper and establish a relationship with the patient.
  3. Think dialogue, not monologue- find out not only what a patient's problems are, but how they effect daily life and create limitations.
  4. Don't force "the close"- do more than tell the patient a plan, make sure the proposed solution will fit into their life and work for them.
  5. Always follow up- physician and staff support is appreciated and the extra care will help others reach and maintain their health goals.


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How does your Practice Measure Up?

With our exhaustive 130 point mystery shopping review, you'll know the answer. Give us a call or email Jamie today to discuss how our mystery shopping services can ensure practice growth in 2012!


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Where's (e)Merge?

June 13-15

Practice Management Institute Annual Conference- San Antonio, TX


What's (e)Merge?

(e)Merge is a medical practice growth consulting firm specializing in providing innovative, patient-centric marketing initiatives and medical mystery shopping services that enhance patient experiences to increase referrals.  Our programs are designed to strategically achieve sustained patient volume growth for medical practices and health organizations.


Give us a call!





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