Poignant Notes on Patient Experience

Posted on June 6, 2010


Based on my experience as a visitor, a topic that does not get enough emphasis in healthcare is the patient experience.  Becker’s Hospital Review provided a nice, short piece on the subject recently. It is good to read someone else’s ideas which reinforce some of my own, and that a happy patient is not only a healthier patient, but a patient more likely to seek care at that same facility again.

One of the main ideas in the Becker’s piece is personal treatment, the foundation of customer service. There is no reason hospitals and even more regularly attended clinics should not ramp up customer service efforts. With routine visits to a retail store, employees will start to recognize me and greet me by name—even at the supermarket or drug store. For patients with routine visits especially for dialysis or other chronic care, it makes perfect sense for care givers to get to know a patient like a regular.  Restaurants, dry cleaners, hair stylists, bar tenders all know preferences, what the usual is and how to have their service ready just so. In those cases it is not about the tips, either. Tips are one-time benefits; repeat business is the real reward.

Healthcare is already in a clear minority position as an industry serving reluctant consumers; from the get-go patients arrive resentful for having to be there. Hospitals, clinics and physician practices must learn to expend exceptional effort to win over patients.

Check out the article for the rest of Marshall | Steele ‘s suggestions.