Is Access Hurting Your Patient Experience?

Posted by Kristin Baird on January 24th, 2019 • 1 Comment »

The TV commercials look great.  The website is up and is getting rave reviews. The growth strategy and marketing plans are on schedule, but patient volume remains the same. What is happening? Chances are good that you have access and service issues.

When we examined thousands of first-time calls for appointments across the country, a stunning 35% of the consumers report they are not likely to return to the provider with either a call or visit. It is a huge contributor to that score, but so is customer service.

Hold Off on Your Ad Campaign

Many well-intentioned marketing and strategy teams create plans that cannot be successful due to access issues. Where are your issues? Do you know where problems exist? Have you quantified access issues in every market and service line? How do you compare to your competitors? Until all those questions can be answered, you may want to hold off on your beautiful ad campaigns.

Mystery shopping is a proven method for assessing issues including competitive information. Find out how this research method can help you with access and service issues that are sending potential patients running to your competitors. It offers concrete numbers, but also the qualitative information that paints a true portrait.

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Baird Consulting

One Response to “Is Access Hurting Your Patient Experience?”

  1. Laura says:

    We had such a difficult time accessing a vascular surgeon in one of Chicago’s premier hospitals. It took almost 3 weeks and a multitude of phone calls, requiring a referral from his primary care physician. The problems included the primary care physician’s limited hours (only worked 1 day per week), apparently with no physician contact or coverage during her 6/7 off days per week. We called practically every day, only to be told multiple stories of “the status of the referral”, ranging from “the referral has been requested” to “the referral has been sent” to “we have no record of this request”. The people answering the phones were presumably clerks (not doctors or nurses).
    The surgeon and his nurse practitioner were fantastic once we finally did get in.
    But the process should NEVER be this difficult. On a side note, another family member was seen by a neurologist in the same academic center; she was able to self-refer and got an appointment within 5 minutes of the initial phone call.


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