When Your Patients Leave, Are They Happy?

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  • In AAPC News
  • May 25, 2011
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By Simone A Tessitore, CPC, COBGC
In an economy where everyone is cutting back on everything, how can we be sure our patients aren’t cutting back on us? While going to the doctor certainly isn’t a barrel of monkeys, it does not have to be a dreaded chore either. How do we balance the needs of the patient and the practice and keep everyone happy?
Are front desk staff and phone staff providing a friendly first impression? A patient can hear a smiling voice versus a rushed irritated employee a mile away. Why would patients want to come somewhere they feel isn’t nice to them? Is the waiting area well maintained with adequate seating and magazines less than eight years old?
What about the clinical staff? Are they making good eye contact with your patients rather than just typing data into an EMR? Nobody likes to feel like just Mrs. 2:15, especially when already feeling sick, uncomfortable, or just plain vulnerable in that little paper gown.
And how is our back office follow up? Are we helping our patients through the web of deductibles and in-network referrals? Are patients being called back promptly?
You never know when you’ll be the difference between a happy patient and a miserable experience. When your patient has many physicians to choose from, what impression would you rather leave?

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