Take decisive steps away from mediocrity

Customer service excellence will make your practice stand out in a competitive marketplace. To achieve maximum patient satisfaction, take the four following steps to move away from mediocrity and toward improvement:

1. Start with yourself. You wouldn’t dream of short-changing your patients medically. Apply that same diligence to the “stuff” that goes with it: being on time, keeping charts current, returning phone calls quickly, etc.

2. Expect excellence. Make sure your staff understand your commitment to excellence. Encourage and reward employees for zero-error work.

3. Apologize and fix it. Don’t be afraid to admit your own mistakes, and instruct employees to handle patient problems with similar humility. Give your staffers appropriate authority to fix errors and satisfy your patients, referrers, and payers.

4. Prevent repeats. Analyze mistakes to see whether you can fine-tune policies or procedures to prevent a recurrence. Enlist staffers in your troubleshooting efforts, and reward them for creative solutions.

This nugget was adapted from Customer Service for Successful Medical Practice, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. Go to http://www.hcmarketplace.com/Prod.cfm?id=2089

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