Ok - we all know I am not paid to work in the healthcare setting. (Someone gimme a job - I would be fantastic - hehe)
I am not a clinician, or tech, or even a receptionist in any sort of healthcare setting.
But what am I? I am the parent/caregiver of a medically complex child as well as a patient myself.
Oh and I've also spent 18 years in the world of sales.
High pressure sales with lots of goals ranging from sales to warranties to additional items on a sale.
I am pretty much an expert in the idea of customer service. SO - let me get something off my chest.....
Healthcare people - IF I TREATED MY CUSTOMERS THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES/CAREGIVERS I WOULD NOT HAVE A JOB ANYMORE.
Now I'm not trying to demean anyone or compare what I give to my customers for their hard earned money to what you as members of the society of people who work in healthcare give to their patients - wellness and health are far greater in worth than the shiny rocks I sell everyday.
But I think I could help you with your attitude towards customer service and help you in the process achieve better outcomes for your patients as well as your employees.
See you may call us patients but really we are your customers. We are using our hard earned money to receive healthcare expertise from you. So a smile when I sign in for my daughter's lab draw would probably help ease her tension at the thought of getting poked with a needle - even though she's a rockstar at it.
Your ignoring the waiting room while sitting behind the reception desk does not make your patients feel respected and looked after. When you ignore the comings and goings of the people who are walking in and out of your waiting rooms you are potentially losing customers. Your ignorance of them and unwillingness to acknowledge them may make them want to go someplace else to get services from.
Now you make think "Oh no no, healthcare is different than selling diamonds."
Um no it is not. You are providing a service that I am paying for. Just like I provide sparkly shiny diamonds for large sums of money - which you also choose to charge large sums of money for a few aspirins and a bandaid.
When one of your receptionists knows that a customer - whoops, wait I mean patient - has signed in, as you told them to, still has not been registered or called for the service they are paying for and it's been an hour.....well I can tell you what would've happened if that happened where I work....the customer would walk down the hall to XYZ Jewelers and bought there. We probably also would have received a nasty review on Yelp....
But you all think you're above that. You're not. My time is just as valuable as yours. A 60 second lab draw should not take an hour and a half when the waiting room was about empty and you have two phlebotomy techs.
You think you have no competition. You do. You may not have any competition right in your backyard like I do, but you've got it - and they exist all around you.
People are choosing to go out of state for big procedures - you know the ones that really pay you all's bills - and that's going to affect you. It's kinda like the worry we had over a big time bridal jeweler who moved into the Metro area - we worried all our "big sales" would go to them. But they didn't. Why? Because we chose the route of customer service.
We chose to be knowledgeable, caring and vigilant with our customers needs. But see we didn't just do that for our "full time" sales staff. We did it for everyone - from the top down to the little old lady who works seasonally for us for the employee discount.
Healthcare peeps - you've gotta do that too. You cannot have amazing doctors and really crappy mean faced receptionists who are completely unaware of the people sitting in front of them.
At my job we call this "training". See we train people to sell, we train people to always see the "person" in front of them. And hell all we are doing is selling rocks that actually have no real value - what you all do is where the real value is - and your receptionists can't smile or acknowledge that a patient has been sitting in their waiting room for WAY LONGER than it should be for a lab draw. Even as that receptionist sits staring at the waiting room.
Don't even get me started on the fact that you are a pediatric healthcare facility.....
Take a piece of advice from business customer service healthcare providers everywhere - AND YES I MEAN YOU MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND RECEPTIONIST, AND EVERYONE ELSE INSIDE A DOCTORS OFFICE OR HOSPITAL OR CLINIC OR ANYWHERE THAT PROVIDES HEALTHCARE STUFF.....
LEARN SOME CUSTOMER SERVICE.
By the way....I am looking for a job. :) I'm happy to be a paid consultant.....