The patient experience goes beyond the treatment. Here are three ways to enhance it

Three steps to enhance the patient experience

A great patient experience is so much more than what happens in the treatment room. Yes, of course the treatment is a very important component but when we sit down and map out each step of your patient journey, we will find there is a lot more to getting it right than just the treatment.

The clinic owner or therapist often isn’t directly involved in many of the patient journey steps so it is important to make sure processes are in place to uphold the level of care you would like to be known for each step of the way.

Here are a few pointers:

Define your purpose and values

Define your purpose and values and share these with the team (relentlessly!) What are purpose and values? No, they are not just a paper exercise – when you get this truly right, they are the foundation that holds the team together, keeps everyone motivated but also accountable.

We like to think of your purpose as the greater reason why the business is in existence, beyond making a profit or as Simon Sinek refers to in his book, The Infinite Game – your just cause.

Your values are how you deliver the patient experience and how you work together as a team. A good way to come up with these (and we suggest you define the top three and get those right) is to think about what you want your patients and team members to say about their experience of coming into the clinic.

Map out your patient journey in detail

Map out all the steps in your patient journey and outline a process for each step and create checklists if need be.

Don’t make assumptions that everyone knows how to do everything. The number of times I have been asked by practice owners ‘is it not common sense as to how you do x, y or z?’ The answer is no, there is no such thing as common sense! Set out your expectations clearly.

Take your values into account when you create each process. If you want to provide a personalised, caring service how do you want the phones to be answered? How do you want patients to be greeted? What information do you want to share with the patient each step of the way?

Walk in your patients’ shoes

Go through your patient journey through the eyes of your patient. Does your website and your other marketing initiatives focus more on the patient and their needs rather than it being all about you?

Walk through your clinic from a patient perspective. Sit in the waiting room chairs and look around. Are they seeing exactly what you want them to see? Is the notice board placed where it is easy for your patients to see rather than behind the reception desk where you happened to have a clear wall?

Try booking an appointment. If you offer online bookings, is it easy to navigate through? What information does the patient receive on confirmation of booking? Does that information give your patient certainty as to where to go and park; what to wear; what to bring along? Is there perhaps so much information that it might be overwhelming?

Once you have done this go back to step 2 (Map out your patient journey in detail) and amend your processes and checklists!

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