A successful business seeks to know what its customers want most and then delivers. Starbucks, one of the best-recognized and admired brands in the world, has made connecting with their customers a key ingredient to their business culture and their “bottom line”.
Healthcare is moving from a “business of volume” to a “business of value” and your patients’ perception will be a key factor in the determination of value. With that in mind, you have to ask yourself – what do my patients want from me? Interpreting this can be a challenge. Do they want lower fees? Easier payment plans? The latest meaningful use technology? Evening hours?
Surveys have shown that the amount of waiting time patients experience in your office has a direct impact on their satisfaction with your office as a whole. Merritt Hawkins, a physician search and consulting firm recently completed a survey of patient wait times measured in the number of days it takes to get into the office. The following, Key Findings, is a summary of their research:
In his book Everything is Marketing, Fred Joyal writes, what they want is less tangible but almost universal when it comes to healthcare providers. Study after study shows the same thing. The number one thing patients want most is to feel that the doctor and his team care about them.
In my discussions with clients over the years I have heard some great stories about the care given to patients and the difference it makes in both the life of a patient and in the life of the doctor. Sometimes, from my seat, it seems that the business of healthcare is too focused on finances, taxes, and cash flow. While a business can’t survive without healthy profits, it may be good to remember that healthcare is really about caring for the patient. But, then, you knew that right? After all, you have the “best seat in the house”. Thank you for caring. Keep practicing on purpose!
Do you have a good “Chicken Soup” story of a recent doctor and patient encounter? Share it with me. It will keep me buckled in my seat helping you mind your own business.
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client, contact Mike at www.vmde.com