It’s not uncommon for us to get requests from healthcare organizations of all sizes that want to assess patient access. The marketing department may be doing a great job in advertising primary and specialty practices, but what really happens when the phone rings? Often, it’s – access denied. Or at least in the consumers eyes.
Last week we made a number of mystery shopping calls to assess access for a system. Marketing and administration were baffled by the low volumes. The practice had capacity and the providers were encouraging advertising.
One of the calls was made to a primary care office that marketing had been promoting to increase volume. The attendant was friendly, but proceeded to tell the caller that she would have to check with the doctor first to see if he would take the caller as a new patient. If the doctor approved the patient, they would let her know. What?
This type of dis-connect between administration, marketing and operations will quickly squander ad dollars and leave the public with the impression that the practice is either too full or merely unwelcoming to new customers. Regardless, it was invaluable information for the marketing department and administration to learn that one of their core strategies was being killed over the phone.
What’s happening when potential customers call your practices? The answer may surprise you.