When a patient walks into a clinic, he/she is coming with the expectation of proper diagnosis and expert medical consultation. Anything less than that will not sit well with a patient, especially in today’s world where choices are plenty. As clinic owners and administrators, it is your responsibility to ensure that the service offered to patients is top-notch. In order to be top-notch, you need to know the common complaints that patients have about medical practices, to ensure that your clinic isn’t infected (pun intended) with the same problems.
Here’s our list of the five most common complaints that patients have with clinics, and how clinic management software can help with the same.
Long Waiting Time
Are patients in your clinic waiting for extended periods of time? Are appointments not being met on time because of queue? If the answer to such questions is yes, then your clinic needs to do a quick introspection of wait time. For patients, time is of the essence and if they feel like it isn’t being valued, they are likely to be disappointed and have a bad opinion about your clinic’s service. Forming a negative opinion is bad for patient repeatability and such patients will not only refrain from coming to the clinic again but also discourage their acquaintances from visiting.
Sure, you could say that certain appointments take a long time, causing a delay for everyone following them. If that’s the case, as a clinic manager/owner, you should take steps to ensure that such cases don’t cause a hold-up in the waiting room. Instruct your staff and doctors to try and minimise the time taken on each patient, without compromising with the healthcare quality.
Consider investing in a good clinic management software which could also inform patients in case of delay. By informing patients in case of appointment delay, doctor on leave, etc. you show value and reverence for their time. You can try using Med-E-Nova, a trusted clinic management software, which can be used to manage appointments and inform patients in case of schedule changes or delays.
Availability of Doctors and Staff
It’s a nightmare for patients when they call a clinic in times of emergency and they spend crucial time either waiting for someone to pick up the phone or being bounced around from one staff to another for making an appointment. Patients are also annoyed when they try to make an appointment but the doctor they want is never available. Things like this are a severe deterrence to patient satisfaction.
Make it a point to setup quick communication channel for emergency situations. Simply put, have multiple phone numbers listed, each for a specific type of situation. For example, a clinic can have two numbers listed of which one is for making normal appointments and one for emergency cases only. Additionally, have a rotating staff system in place so that there’s always sufficient help around the clinic to deal with critical medical situations. Scheduling is made a lot easier with Med-E-Nova clinic management software which comes with front desk management and HR modules for easier scheduling and appointment management. With this trusted clinic management software, patients have the facility to choose consultants and book online appointment as per their convenience. Further, patients don’t need to re-register when they reach the clinic and can see the doctor directly.
A customer could possibly forgive you, for having to wait for long in the waiting room or if the staff isn’t cooperative but if their meeting with the doctor is anything less than satisfactory, well in that case you can just go ahead and kiss them goodbye. Health is one’s greatest wealth and if doctors don’t acknowledge that in their behaviour and diagnosis, a patient will move on to a medical practitioner who does. There’s also the matter of a patient’s time and money, both of which are invested while visiting a medical clinic.
Clinic administrators and owners should have performance evaluation and personality development programmes for their doctors and medical staff. Train them to be more responsive and empathetic to patient needs. Most people are scared to go to the doctor and it can do wonders for their confidence, if the doctor they interact with treats them with warmth and compassion, while diagnosing.
Too Much Hassle in Getting Tests and Lab Work Done
Waiting for long to get tests and lab work done is one of the worst things about visiting a clinic. A patient gets poked and prodded with needles, deposit fluids in a bottle, sit under a machine to get scanned, etc, while in the lab. Along with the weird chemical smell emanating from laboratories, it’s not an experience that patients usually look forward to. So, when patients have to spend any longer than they need to, it is bound to cause a negative reaction on their part.
Additionally, if patients’ have to keep coming back often to get tests done or to collect results, they will be irritated by the time spent. Clinics can consider having a home-testing provision, where patients can schedule lab technicians to visit their home and collect samples for tests. Clinics can also have lab test results sent online (over email or chat) and patients can further consult their doctor.
Lack of Online Presence
Clinics and hospitals should be listed online, especially in this era of deeper mobile penetration. Through a clinic’s website, patients can better access information regarding its service, availability of medical consultants, set appointments and leave feedback. Also, through integration of the clinic’ website with clinic management software, clinic administrators can help patients book appointments online.
Further, doctors and clinics can use online reviews and feedback to improve their services and work on commonly complained issues. An online presence is also useful to maintain relationship with patients. Clinics can reach out to patients for their opinions and inform them in case of discounts being offered on regular body check-ups.
There are a lot of things that impact patient experience but armed with the knowledge of commonly complained pain-points, a clinic could avoid falling in the same trap of providing sub-par service. Follow the tips mentioned above and come up with your own solutions to improve your clinic/hospital.