I was driving along the other day singing along with one of my favorite songs when a good friend called. Pat was going bonkers on the phone because it had been one of those days … the type we all can relate to.
Pat’s day had started off fairly well until 1 PM when her manager called a meeting to discuss the up-and-coming trade show. Gerard (Pat’s boss) had just decided to change the theme of their booth based upon a passing comment by one of the VPs. So instead of the planned fishing theme, it was now to be a golf theme equipped with an electronic driving range and free Arnold Palmers for anyone driving the ball more than 200 yards!
To make matters worse, Pat lamented, during Gerard’s animated description of what he wanted -- a get a reminder that my physical is in an hour!
There should have been plenty of time, she told me, but the meeting dragged on. Finally it was over, and Pat jumped in the car, figuring there was just enough time to get to the appointment. She had to make it – after all she had waited 2 and a half months to get in!
While she continues her story, I can visualize my friend frantically thinking through all the arrangements that need to be made for the booth while driving to her appointment, and see her getting more and more frustrated as there seems to be only one color of traffic light – RED!
Upon arrival, Pat runs into the waiting room and up to the receptionist who is talking on the phone and pounding on her keyboard, obviously not happy with the person on the other end. Finally, putting the phone down she looks at Pat and says – do you have an appointment?
Exasperated, Pat responds, “No, I just thought I would stop in and see if you were having a great day like mine?” The receptionist whose nameplate read Molly – didn’t crack a smile and just said, “name and time please”.
So Pat, feeling a little sheepish about her snarky comment, smiled at Jolly Molly and said “Pat, I’m here for a physical.” Molly then proceed to take forever pounding on the key board again (kind of like an airlines assistant) and then pronounced: “You were scheduled for 3 pm and we only hold appointments for 15 minutes … and we charge for missed appointments.”
Pat, slowly starting to boil over, responded, “Well according to YOUR wall clock it is only 3:12 so I guess I made it.” Molly glances at the clock and then says, “I’ll let it go this time - take a seat.”
Then the interminable wait begins …
Pat waits and waits and is just about to check to see if they skipped over her name when finally, a young nurse comes out and guides Pat to the exam room where the air conditioning is blasting. The nurse asks her a list of questions then hands her a paper gown so she can disrobe.
Sitting on the exam table with her lips turning blue, Pat waits some more.
Finally, the doctor comes in and says with a grimace, “Been one of those days,” glances at her chart and asks her all the same questions the nurse just asked.
When Pat finally busts out of the office, even though she received good news about her health, she was frustrated enough to call and vent.
And the ironic part of it is – Pat really respects her Doctor! As she blew off steam, I realized many of us have had experiences like that at some point in time. That was confirmed that evening when I was reading an article in the current Journal of Medical Practice Management which revealed that only 1 in 25 patients that rated their healthcare providers with two stars or fewer is unhappy with his or her physical examination, diagnosis, treatment, surgery or health outcome.
The other 96 percent of patient complaints cite poor communications, disorganization, excessive delays, indifferent staff and doctors’ bedside manners as the cause for dissatisfaction. Hardly anyone was discouraged with the actual quality of care received.
Given the increasing usage and reliance of patients on Physician internet scoring and review sites, Doctors have an increasing need to understand the site’s metrics and their patients’ perspective on their experience.
Online reviews and patients’ perceptions can often be improved once the feedback is gathered, analyzed and small adjustments are implemented in the way an office operates.
At Broad Reach Marketing Services, we support Medical Professionals and their staffs in gathering insights on patients’ perceptions, developing action strategies, and implementing changes that facilitate the future health of their practices.
Let us help you get the positive ratings that your patients, staff and you desire! Call us or click here for ways we can help
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