Patient Satisfaction: Apologize for Waiting Time and a Telephone Survey

If physicians want to achieve excellent patient relations in their office, they must take a role in apologizing to patients for waiting time. Have you ever heard a physician say to a patient..."I'm sorry I was delayed. I hope this hasn't upset your schedule for today" or..."Do you have time to stay for this appointment or do you need to re-schedule?" or..."I appreciate your understanding and patience today". If you have heard this, then that practice is likely receiving new patients from patient referrals.

Patient relations is often established right away by the manner in which patients are treated over the phone. Practices should survey patients with these questions:

  1. How many rings did it take before you were greeted by a staff member? Was that person pleasant, helpful, and did they give their name?
  2. If there is a voicemail system, were you able to reach the proper person or department within a reasonable time?
  3. If you were put on hold, how long was it?
  4. After you reached the proper department were you put on hold again? If so, how long? Was that person also courteous?

If you see results showing that patients were dissatisfied in any of these areas, review with the staff how to correct the problem.


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