A recent article I read titled, Improving Hospital Patients’ Experience is Just a Phone Call Away, brought to mind a blog we wrote in 2010 on the importance of the physician phone call for patient retention. If you missed that blog post, you can read it here. Having worked for well over a decade inside several medical facilities that perform surgical procedures, I can appreciate the difference that a phone call can make.
Follow up calls are nothing new, yet they continue to make a significant impact on consumer’s lives and improve patient satisfaction. In my opinion, this is because providing good customer service has taken a back seat for many businesses. It can be challenging getting a live person on the phone these days let alone receive a call back without requesting it. The follow up call has been recognized as an important step by many service industries. My veterinarian calls me the day after seeing my dog and I am so glad they do. I love that personal touch because it tells me that my dog is important to them. Imagine the impact a follow up call for a person can have!
We know you are busy. A doctor calling a patient is going to have the greatest impact, however, if you feel you are tight on time and cannot make the call yourself, delegate it to a staff member. You should also make each call as personable as possible. The purpose of the call is to put your patient’s minds at ease. This can often be achieved best through a conversation rather than a checklist of questions that need to be asked.
One of our clients gives his personal cell phone number to all patients. I continually hear the impact this has on them through their patient reviews. Patients love him for doing this because it is not the norm, yet many argue that it should be. Having an accessible surgeon provides a sense of security to patients while they are healing. They can rest assured that if something happens, they can pick up the phone and get their surgeon. What a great feeling to have!
If you are not already making follow up calls to your patients, figure out what changes you will need to make to implement this important step in patient care. Don’t miss out on a valuable opportunity to improve patient satisfaction – start dialing today!