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Taking A Fresh Look At Your Patient Touchpoints

You’ve probably been there before. You are relaxing on your well-deserved day off and in the middle of doing absolutely nothing, the phone rings.  It’s your long-lost friends, they’re passing through town and will be arriving at your front door in just under two hours.  After hanging up the phone, you look around your house and go into what might be called “pure crazy mode”.   Your house is a disaster.

 
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A full-court press ensues.  In your mania, you get everyone in the house involved.   No one stops until all evidence that people actually live in your home is completely gone.  No dishes. No clothes. Hide the dog (toys).  Beat the sofa pillows into submission, I mean fluff the pillows to perfection.  You’ve been there, right?!?

In our (my) defense, I would be remiss if I didn’t ground us in the fact that it is very normal for us to want to welcome visitors into a pleasing, inviting environment.  We, without a doubt, do not want our guests to feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed.

As many of you already know, prior to serving healthcare clients, I spent a great deal of time in traditional consumer markets – including assisting large hospitality/hotel chains with their customer-centered goals.   So, I am sure you can imagine my confusion when I stumble upon less-than-welcoming healthcare facilities.  It’s a very conflicting experience for me.  In fact, sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that these off-putting health facilities belong to the same organizations that are in the business of making customer/patients “feel better”. 

If we step back for a minute and think about how we want to welcome guests into our own homes, it only makes sense that healthcare providers want to do the same.  Unfortunately, sometimes in their busyness and deep focus on care delivery, health systems forget about our basic human needs to feel welcomed and comfortable.

You may have heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  With so many patient access points, including physical locations, web, mobile, phone, events and so on, it is imperative that health systems step back and take a fresh look.  Is the patient experience welcoming and comfortable?

So where can health systems start?  Start at your front doors.  Keep good notes and have a couple of staff members assist you.  Walk in the patient’s shoes. Live the patient experience first-hand.  Pay attention to what your customer-patients see and experience.

There are so many places where you can find opportunities to improve your patient access points, patient experiences and the overall patient journey.  Here is a quick check list to get you started.  It will help you to think about access, facilities, team member workflows and more.

About the Author:  Sue Butler is the EVP, Client Success and co-founder of Customer Evolution, focused on advancing the consumerization of healthcare for a transformative health experience. With an extensive background in consumer-facing innovation that spans process improvement, experience management and product development, Sue has worked with clients in the fields of healthcare, insurance, financial services, technology services and hospitality.

About Customer Evolution: The Customer Evolution team is committed to helping health systems engage modern medical moms and digitally savvy patients in new, innovative ways. End²End™ was borne from our years of helping shape customer experiences and influence behavior outside of healthcare.  Our heritage serving world-class organizations such as Hilton, American Express, Chase, Wells Fargo and others cultivated a deep understanding of the proven methods which consistently deliver on the goals of experience and outcomes.  We combined this with the deep knowledge we have gained serving Tampa General, Henry Ford, Humana, Florida Blue and many more respected health institutions.  The result is a platform specifically designed to solving the journey management challenges facing health systems today. Learn more at www.customer-evolution.com.