Looking at your practice from your own eyes reveals what you want to see or are trained to see from your own reality. For instance, you are exceptionally proud of the new specialized equipment you just spent a fortune on. You have staff who you hand-picked to hold your practice together. You are excited about the new skills you learned at the latest conference.
Then why isn’t your practice packed with patients you love to treat and why doesn’t every patient give you a rave Google review? Here’s how to find out.
A really effective method of finding out where and how you can improve your practice is to see it through your patients’ eyes. REALLY see it. For instance, did you know that most patients do not care whether you have the latest and greatest technical equipment. By survey, we have found that they assume that you would have the best. The patients also do not care what schools you went to and what awards you got and so on because they assume if you graduated, you must be good. And the staff you have may be YOUR cup of tea but they may not be jazzing your patients with the above and beyond care and service the patients expect.
Start from the Beginning
Try re-enacting the process a patient going through from finding you to sitting in your chair to walking out after the appointment. Start by listing all the various ways a potential new patient could find out about you. What are the messages? Will they attract the kind of patients you would love to treat? Or will they appeal to the broke people of the world who want mega-discounts?
Then, phone your practice and do a secret shopper call. Don’t use your own phone number. Have someone else make the call as a potential new patient asking questions and have the phone on speaker so you can hear what your staff say and how they handle the call. Most doctors are extremely shocked at what the staff do and don’t say. Sometimes they don’t even ask if the person wants an appointment.
Try walking up to the front of your practice now as if you were a new patient and see what you see. Does the appearance make you feel like you are a glad you came to this practice? As you walk into reception, does your staff look up and greet you warmly? What is your overall first impression of the reception area? Is it upscale and comforting?
Now Be the Provider
The patient arrives in your treatment room. You don’t know them and they don’t know you. Are you able to quickly and easily get into communication with them and make them feel they are in the right place? How good are you at getting a patient to want the ideal care you can provide?
At the end
When the patient goes out front to pay their bill and make their next appointment, does anyone ask them (with deep sincerity) whether there was anything at all that anyone in the practice could have done to make this visit even better? (And the asker has to REALLY want to know, not just ask it as a matter of fact.)
If all was a great experience, does anyone ask the patient if they would like to do a 5-Star Google review and actually help them if they don’t know how?
Don’t Forget the Staff
You should have each of your team do the same steps as above and then have a meeting to discuss what was found and how the practice could scale up the patient experience.
Happy patients who received the ultimate in care from your practice is a great goal.