Three Steps To a Better Patient Experience


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Recently my wife experienced a visit to the clinic. We’ve been patients here for over 15 years. There have been changes and they have taken on an investor (To improve operations).  Here are some of the things they are doing to improve the patient experience:

  • Big fat screen TV in waiting room
  • A little Keurig coffee machine
  • A telephone or text reminder of your upcoming visit
  • A patient portal with email reminders of the results of your visit

And here is what is wrong with all of that. It does nothing to improve the experience with the provider. She took her prescriptions in and handed them to the PA and the Nurse. The both took notes and confirmed the notes. And then they called in the wrong prescriptions. It was as if they weren’t event trying to pay attention. I can tell you we are now open to a new practice as this is bad practice and dangerous.

Instead of all of that capital expended to improve the experience here are three things that cost zero capital dollars:

  1. Slow down and listen to what the patient has to say about what brought them in, what they have tried and what they are seeking. Studies show that the average physician interrupts a patient 18 seconds after they have asked a question. No way are they hearing what the patient is really in the exam room for.
  2. Pay attention to the patient not your tablet or computer, listen to the patient AND THEN enter the data into your EMR. It takes energy to listen and focus on your patients. Multi-tasking won’t get the job done.
  3. When following up with either the treatment plan or calling in the prescriptions, transferring the labs etc. pay attention. Same advice don’t multi-task. The wrong medication sickens thousands of people every year and literally kills others.

I get it, I work in the industry and it’s busy, there are lots of changes and the pace of change is not going to slow down. And here is the thing if you slow down and focus on the important tasks at hand, you will actually go faster.

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