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FRIDAY FEATURE: How Accessible Is Your Medical Practice?

Whilst technology is always advancing, patients still find difficulties in something as simple as booking an appointment to see a doctor. Indeed, the most common complaint from patients is that they can’t get through on the phone line. Also, when they do get through, the level of customer service fails to meet their expectation. What can be done to make your practice more accessible, so you don’t miss out on important patient bookings?

The views expressed in this article are specifically those of Rockbridge Medical.
This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.

Meeting patient’s expectations

In a world where instant access is becoming the norm, it is ironic that patients must resort to finding time in their own busy schedules to telephone your private office.

Whilst answering that call may appear the simplest of tasks to you, it can sometimes be one of the most difficult for your patients, when they are faced with lengthy hold waiting times or a lack of expertise when they do finally get to speak with someone.

Could it be possible that whilst you are working hard on creating a positive experience for your patients, your practice infrastructure may be inadvertently undermining your efforts? 

One key reason why practice owners do not upgrade their existing infrastructure is that they are blissfully unaware there is an issue, as they don’t have any means to know the number of calls that are missed each day. The second reason is that there is a financial investment in doing so.

However, it is vital to take into account potential lost revenues because of poor call management.

3 tips to improve your practice accessibility

Some changes you may want to consider to make your practice more accessible:

  • Move to a VIOP phone system that includes software to not only monitor inbound / outbound call activity, but also allows you to collate data on missed or abandoned calls. These systems also provide your team with options to manage call volumes with professional messages regarding call waiting times and the like. It becomes a highly effective tool for your business to then be able to move forward and rectify bottlenecks in your systems and processes.
  • Create a “Book Now” button on your website which generates a call back to arrange their appointment. It’s important that these enquiries are treated as “live” and a call back to the patient occurs quickly. A prompt response will not only ensure a smooth booking; but also, provide you with an opportunity to impress the patient with how efficient your practice and communications are.
  • Create an FAQ area on your website. FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) are a great way to save your patients waiting on hold to ask a general question. If they can find answers via your website then this saves them time and keeps your phone lines free. It could be a great opportunity to capture their e-mail address at the same time for any future marketing communications.

Success in private practice is based on multiple factors and does take time and effort. However, by investing in a professional and efficient interface between you and your patients you are creating a solid platform to grow your practice.

Why not remove the barriers to your practice and watch it grow?

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