You have probably heard many stories from your patients or clients about practices they have been to where they felt a lack of service and care from the team. Sometimes, they are mentioning that the staff seemed very uncaring or even rude. Sometimes it is the doctor who is the target … “too rushed,” “didn’t answer my questions,” “had problems with the actual treatment,” and so on. And as a result, they do not want to go back to that practice.
Now we all know that pretty much every practice has experienced a “nay sayer” who has nothing nice to say about anybody or anything, so don’t get all tied up in knots over one or two “difficult” patients or clients. This doesn’t mean however that you can’t make a game out of winning over even one of those! Kill them with kindness, as the saying goes.
In any practice, it is extremely important to monitor how patients/clients perceive the service and the quality of care that they are receiving. Therefore, a quality assurance system needs to be put in place. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- When the patient’s treatment is completed a designated staff member is to ask and determine if the patient/client is happy with the service that they received and if there is any way that the service could have been improved.
- If they are happy, make a note of the positive comment(s) and forward to the receptionist who is to report on these positive patient/client responses at each staff meeting. This will provide validation to all the staff.
- Be responsive to positive improvements patients/clients may suggest. Write these down and put in the owner’s in-basket.
- If there is a complaint, be polite with the patient/client and get the problem defined. If the staff can’t remedy it, then get the doctor to step in.
- The doctor is the isolate the real problem in each case and work out the best solution. This may include a complementary consultation, a call from the offending staff member and/or doctor, etc.
- Be sure that you not only correct the problem with the patient/client, but also with the staff member(s) involved.\
- Never review complaints at a general staff meeting unless it is to deal with a generalized situation and you want staff to help correct it. Complaints concerning individual staff members should be dealt with one-on-one in private. Remember the rule: praise in public and correct in private.
- Another good policy is to always call patients/clients after traumatic treatment to make sure they are doing okay. They love this extra care level.
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