I recently had foot surgery that required several pre and post-op doctor office visits. The office staff was always courteous and helpful, my calls got returned promptly, my appointments started on time and my visits were well coordinated among the staff making them efficient (and pleasant). Billing was accurate and convenient. At each visit, the physician took time to answer my questions, discuss next steps and showed real care and concern for my well-being (by the way, he is recognized as a “top doc” in our region).
Contrast that to a recent visit to another physician’s office where the phone contacts were rude and condescending, call-backs were promised within 24-hours, and I had to wait 55 minutes during my office visit before being seen by the physician. The medical care I received was great but unfortunately the overall patient experience was marred by process inefficiencies and staff issues. When asked to complete a survey, I was happy to provide feedback for improving their experience and received a call-back for more detail. I was stunned when I was met with an entourage of excuses explaining why things were the way they were. They clearly were experiencing process issues but they couldn’t see their way out of it. They had become victims of their own inefficiencies.
The contrast between these two experiences is astounding. Unfortunately many healthcare providers have yet to realize that putting the “care” back in healthcare is not just about providing a diagnosis and treatment but about caring enough to make sure the entire patient experience, from first contact forward, is exceptional.
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