Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Voice of the Customer

The next five posts will highlight the five principles mentioned in the first post.

Satisfied patientsAs mentioned in our introductory post, the VOC is critical to the success of any business but also to the development of and implementation of Lean Management in your medical practice. Just exactly is your customer looking for when they come to your medical practice? They have a list of questions, symptoms or needs. The individual visit is addressed at triage and with the direct encounter with the provider. The patient leaves with a plan and is “happy”!

But why did they choose you in the first place? Did you really meet their expectations during that visit? These are critical questions to find answers. So you now do a patient satisfaction survey and you find out that they don’t like to wait? Can you find out more?

Let’s stop for a minute and ask that as a customer you “shop” for some reason: convenience, price, quality of product, or whatever. How does the “store” know what to stock, when, how much and the like. These are common questions asked by the typical business. These are questions you must have asked when you started or these are questions you should ask now.

How do you get the right information to know what the VOC actually is? This can be done in many ways.
  • Patient satisfaction surveys 
  • Interviews – in person or over the phone 
  • Focus groups 
  • Observations 
  • Complaints 
  • Cards and letters received 
All of this data when reviewed and applied will lead to a more responsive patient care delivery in your practice.
I like a simple survey, ask the patient one question on a 3 X 5 card when they leave:

“Will you recommend our medical practice to a family member or friend?”

Use a 5 or 10-point scale with the highest number on the positive end. You can ask for a comment such as “based upon today’s visit, why did you rate us in this way?” Gather this data for a month and see what you get. This is neither scientific nor complete but gets to the root of the data you want to use.
The key is not only getting the information but it is doing something about it!

photo credit: via photopin cc

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