Time spent with you, the doctor, seems to be the make-or-break patient experience factor for many, results from focalCenter Insights’ Key Drivers of the Patient Experience suggests. Ninety-four percent of respondents rated “quality time spent with the doctor” as “somewhat important” or “very important.” Ninety-one percent rated “getting calls answered quickly” as somewhat important or very important, while 89 percent rated waiting time in the office as somewhat important or very important. Ninety-one percent rated “getting calls answered quickly” as somewhat important or very important, while 89 percent rated waiting time in the office as somewhat important or very important.
The key to creating loyal patients is managing what patients really want from you. In order to meet and exceed patient expectations, you first have to know what they really want. We can guess, but that is not the best way to proceed. You can ask a few patients, but then you are at risk of having a skewed sample. It’s best to turn to articles that report studies in this area.
An article by Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD, titled “What patients really want from health care,” (JAMA. 2011;306(22):2500-2501. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1819) lists things patients identified as highest priority and lowest priority. In this article we can find our answers. Let’s focus on the highest priority items. Here are five of the highest priority items patients want from you.
- Immediate care
- Offered options
- One-stop shopping
- Testimonials about their doctor (they do not want statistical information about how qualified their doctors are)
Take a measured approach to examining how well you do these five things in your practice for your patients. Follow this three-step approach to establish your baseline.
Step 1: Assess what you are doing now. What is your current management strategy for each of these areas?
Step 2: Ask your staff how well you do each of these five areas in your practice.
Step 3: Ask 100 of your patients how well you do each of these five areas in your practice.
Now that you have multiple sources of information on your management of these five key areas, create a plan to manage these areas even better. Use this chart to create your plan.
Current management plan
New management plan
Staff member in charge
Date to be completed
Testimonials about doctors
Take this week to get this area of your practice under control.