2,500-3,000 word article on "A Process Approach...Satisfied Patients"
Request for proposal on 2,500-3,000 word article on "A Process Approach to Assuring Patients Leave Your Urgent Care Center Satisfied"
This will be very simliar to the article "Head in the Game" but instead the focus is on the patient experience. Print-ready article is due within 14 days.
Although every patient and patient experience is unique, there are common ways that patients and prospective patients will interact with an urgent care center. By understanding these interactions, an urgent care operator can design the service offering from the patient's perspective. Start by understanding how the patient finds the center, track the patient's experience through registration and waiting,
provider interactions, and post-visit follow-up. Follows are some suggestions on how "successful" urgent care
centers look at their service offerings from the perspective of patients:
Creating an outstanding patient experience:
Before arriving at the center:
--Center is easy to find--good signage visibility, good curb appeal.
--Online presence--professional and well organized website.
--Services and hours are clear and correct on website.
--Ability to register (complete paperwork) and/or check-in online.
--Grassroots activities--where can the center's name be found and what types of sponsorships
is it associated with? What expectations are promotions managers setting about the center
when they interact with the community?
--What does the center's advertising tactics and messaging say about it?
Solutions for minimizing patient wait times:
--Web pre-registration, call patient to come to center when it's their time in queue.
--Schedule specific appointment times online.
--Patient leaves phone number, runs errands, gets called by center when ready to be seen.
--Waiting room amenities--if the wait cant be eliminated/reduced...reduce the emotional impact of the wait:
--Entertainment: TV, WiFi (most patients including children have their own devices...don't want to burn their data plan in your waiting room)
--Magazines, puzzles/kids activities (activity/coloring books purchased inexpensively from dollar store)
--Concierge/hostess focused on the waiting room experience
The front desk sets patient expectations for the visit:
--Staff should describe the process that the patient will go through including:
--Total time in center including how long the patient is expected wait
--Who the patient will see (MAs, Nurse, Physician)
--Procedures/tests that will be done
--Financial obligations of the patient
--Support staff with bulleted information sheets to give patients such as"Why am I waiting" or "I have to pay how much?"
Correct errors while the patient is in the center:
--Ask patients for feedback on their experience. Identify patients who are dissatisfied before they leave the
center. Listen and take action on patient feedback.
--Give staff ability to rectify unsatisfactory experiences. Examples include gift cards and authority to
write off viists.
--Once the patient leaves, recovery may be too late (patient goes on Yelp, contacts payer or regulator)
Continue communication with patients after the visit:
--Follow-up call from provider or staff within 24-48 hours
--Opt-in e-newsletter: Content includes: articles on current topics of health interest by providers, photos of community/grassroots events,
calendar of events for the center or community
--Social media presence--push out advertising, announcements for seasonal offerings (i.e. flu shots, sports physicals, allergy evaluations), post photos of community/grassroots events