Emerge

(e)Merging Practice Growth Trends: 

January Update  Hr

It's All About the Patient Experience in 2010!

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In November Jamie Verkamp, Director of Growth and Development at (e)Merge met with a large group of healthcare leaders and the question was asked, “What does your practice do that sets you apart from the others?”  The first excited answer was, “We have a live person answer the phone!”   This is important and may provide satisfaction to a number of patients, but the truth is, it is not enough. 

Improving patient experiences is an important goal for 2010 because consumerism is becoming a huge part of healthcare and it’s time to go above and beyond your basic level of satisfaction to generate WOW patient experiences. Patients now have more choices when it comes to their healthcare providers and with greater choices come greater demands including: more service, communication, convenience, quality and access to information.  Healthcare is now a commodity to be shopped and evaluated, which is changing customer service expectations, so it is your responsibility to stay ahead of the curve in 2010 by focusing on patient experiences.  

By focusing on positive patient experiences you can develop lasting relationships with existing patients and increase patient referrals.   These experiences give hospitals and practices the opportunity to do more with less because WOWed patients are excited to tell their friends and family about how wonderful their visit was. This is allowing you to target a larger number of people on a more personal level.  Patients are more likely to visit a doctor that their friend or family member speaks highly of, as opposed to the doctor who is marketing with billboards or printed advertisements.

It is important to remember, patient experiences include every encounter along the way, starting with the initial website visit and conversation with the receptionist, all the way to the bathroom in the lobby to the follow up call.  If that first encounter with the receptionist is negative you are losing patients.  It is reported that 75 percent of people who abandon calls do not call back, so if a prospective patient is left on hold for fifteen minutes they will not be calling back later to make an appointment. Unfortunately, issues that are important to patients aren’t always issues that are important to physicians or hospitals. 

It’s time to start evaluating what is important to your patients, so you can start the year right by providing those WOW patient experiences. Start eliminating satisfied patients because they are costing your practice money because anyone can provide basic satisfaction, so go above and beyond the practices that are answering calls with a live receptionist, and start WOWing! 
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Put it into Practice!

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Social Media is a cost effective way to take patient experiences to the next level.
Create a Facebook page to share physician stories and discussions, health tips, and create patient support groups.
Stat:  35% of patients are lost not because of how they are treated by their doctor, but how they are treated by the receptionist. 
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 2010!