Organization and Efficiency Are Key
Let’s say you go to a new restaurant for a nice evening out. Upon walking in you see a wet floor sign in between tables, servers running around like their heads are cut off and the hostess stand is empty. You’re probably a little uneasy, but you’re already there so you might as well try it. Now, even if the food is incredible, when you talk about that place to your friends and family, what will you most likely include in the review? Something like this perhaps: “Yeah the food was great, but they were so unorganized. I thought we were in trouble, but it turned out alright.” You’re essentially saying, it’s good but the atmosphere made us uneasy. You’ll want to avoid that at all costs at your office because, well, people won’t like you as much as they like the place that fed them good grub. That’s why organization and efficiency are key to your success.
You want your office to appear tidy – another factor relating to a friendly staff that cares about their work environment. Your waiting room should be organized and clean. In addition to providing a comfortable area for patients to relax, this is also the perfect time to educate patients and cross promote your practice’s services.
Having an organized office also makes you seem more professional. Plus, if you’re organized, that means you’re likely more efficient as well. This will help in the immediate short-term because no one likes to wait, especially at a doctor’s office. Even if their wait times won’t decrease due to efficiency, if the appearance is there, it can go a long way into making a patient feel more at ease.
Keep the Gossip Turned Down
One of the larger complaints patients often have in regards to office staff aside from rude stems from when they can blatantly hear the staff talking about private issues. Not only is disrespectful to the patients sitting anxiously on the other side of the glass, but it also is incredibly unprofessional. If they don’t care, what’s to say you, as the doctor, will? The best advice here is to keep the gossip turned down and the focus turned up.
Correcting the Problem(s)
One of the quickest ways to correct the problem is to go ahead and actually try what I mentioned at the beginning of the article: call your office and see what that process is like. After that, have you or a close friend sit in the waiting room to observe. Take notes and be as harsh as possible, cruel as it may sound. Then, consider a staff meeting to correct the issues, or you may consider incentivizing staff with a rating or prize system to motivate them to go above and beyond.
If that doesn’t work, it’s not like there’s a shortage of qualified individuals looking for employment.