Why Patient Experience Matters?

Have you ever had a poor customer experience? How about that time you went to a really nice and expensive restaurant and although the food was delicious, the waiter / waitress was below par with his / her service?

How did that make you feel? And did you want to return or refer your friends to the restaurant?

What got me thinking about this idea of Patient Experience was my own experience, yesterday, when I went in to treat a pinched neck muscle.

My acupuncturist is great and she does a great job. However, during the cupping treatment, after having removed the cups and before applying more, she needed to remove needles and checkout a patient in another room.

Not an uncommon scenario that some of you may have faced.

Do you see the problem? As a patient, I was left on the treating table with no cups or needles waiting for the acupuncturist to return. So, I got off the table and started checking my phone.

Keeping the Patient Engaged

The solution to this problem could simply have been to leave the cups on or place some needles and continue the treatment while checking out the other patient.

Initial Touch Points

Patient Experience starts from the initial touch point with your practice. Some touch points are:

  • Seeing the business card
  • Seeing the website
  • The first phone call
  • Meeting the practitioner

Once you’ve identified those initial touch points, then think through how you want those initial experience to be like.

“You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

While At The Practice…

Now that the patient is at your practice, some things to think about and to think through:

  • What is the layout of the practice? Is it clean and inviting?
  • How will the patient be greeted?
  • How will you talk to the patient, what words will you use and what will be your tone?
  • How will the patient get on the acupuncture table?
  • What will the checkout look like? 

I suggest scripting out the entire flow and then practicing it with a friend.

It’s Not Over…

Remember, Patient Experience doesn’t end once she/he leaves the office. Some things you can think about are:

  • Will you send them a Thank You email?
  • Will you follow up with how they’re doing post treatment?
  • How will you keep in contact with your patient?

Spending some time thinking about post visit Patient Experience can be the difference between a returning patient and one that doesn’t return.

Continuous Improvement

Just a quick blurb about Continuous Improvement, because it’s a whole other topic, which I might write another blog post on. Continuous Improvement is the idea of constantly testing, soliciting feedback, and trying new things. Continuous Improvement is difficult because they require energy and many times, can be shots to our ego and force us to face some unpleasant truths.

However, Continuous Improvement is about making things better for both you and your patients. And, in the end, that’s a win-win for everyone.

I would love to hear your thoughts and Patient Experiences you have at your practice. Please leave comments below or email me at mintotsai@jasminepm.com.

Minto Tsai