Burger King has an ingenious slogan: “Have It Your Way.” This simple phrase should be the basis of customer service, especially in the healthcare field. Patients are unique and want their needs met in a way that suits their preferences. This leads them to feel valued as individuals and helps providers establish relationships of trust with their patients.
For example, take Jenny, a busy mother of five. Between soccer practices, softball games, homework, and housework, her time is limited. She needs quick and easy access to a doctor when her children get sick. For Jenny, this is generally a phone call to schedule an appointment. For her lawyer husband, Matt, the quickest way to schedule an appointment is to use his work computer. Both are members of the same family, but each has a different preference for registration, based largely on individual circumstance.
To ensure the patient’s experience is a good one, a clinic must be able to meet a patient’s needs with their preferred form. When it comes to registration and scheduling, this is done through a variety of options: phone calls, electronic devices, or walk-ins. A patient is far more likely to have a good experience if that patient feels they are being accommodated.
With this in mind, the biggest priority of a clinic is the experience of the patient. However, the experience of the patient directly correlates with the experience of the employee. The latter is often dependent upon the functionality of the electronic health record (EHR) system.
During the registration and scheduling process, the EHR system should have the functionality to collect as little or as much information as needed. The following information should be collected by the front-end staff to put in the EHR:
1. Name + DOB. Collecting a patient’s first name, surname, and date of birth (DOB) allows front-end employees to easily locate the patient within the EHR.
2. Phone Number + Email. Obtaining a phone number and/or email enables efficient communication between the clinic and patient, which includes appointment reminders, test results notifications, and more.
3. Preferred Communication. Asking for a patient’s preferred form of communication can easily be done during the initial registration process. This simple act demonstrates patient-centered care and increases the odds of reaching the patient for future information.
Once the front office staff collects and imports the above information, the EHR system easily expedites all future registration encounters. This creates a good experience for the employee, thus improving the experience of the patient. For busy couples like Jenny and Matt, this is key to developing a long-term relationship with a particular clinic. Be it for a fast food chain or a medical clinic, a customized approach goes a long way.
Contact PCIS GOLD today to learn more about how our online scheduling can help improve basic processes within your clinic.