Across the Globe: How to Create a Good Patient Experience
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:00 AM
Regardless of one’s location, culture, language, or social norms, we all want to be treated with dignity and respect. This is especially true when it comes to being a consumer of health care products and services — and this universal truth was the crux of a recent presentation I gave overseas.
Last month, I had the opportunity to speak at an international medical aesthetics conference in Prague before 1,000 delegates, representing 45 countries. The meeting was primarily focused on exploring new clinical opportunities with non-surgical cosmetic procedures. I was fortunate enough to be one of two speakers to address business issues at that meeting, with my presentation specifically providing practical tips on delivering an exceptional patient experience. With so many nationalities represented at the congress, my goal was to find common themes that would cut across the universe of attendees.
This exercise — identifying universal patient experience themes — reminded me that each of us, regardless of where we live across the globe, is a health care consumer. As such, we want providers to listen actively to our wants and needs and customize a “solution” that most closely aligns with our goals. Along the patient journey, we want each interaction with a practice to meet or exceed our expectations. As health care consumers, we know “what good looks like” when we experience it!
As I explained to the attendees in Prague, replicating a “what-good-looks-like” experience with every patient is not easy. However, replicating a “good” experience is easier if a practice has a people-centric culture that is supported by a leadership team that models the right behavior. At BSM Consulting, we talk often about the “secret sauce” that differentiates our better-performing practice clients. In most cases, we consistently come back to the same unwavering theme: Great practices have a strong physician leader who is “conjoined” with an equally strong administrative leader.
"I believe this 'universal' leadership business model is constant across the globe and is the basis for delivering an excellent patient experience." — Bruce Maller
Almost without fail, this leadership duo shares a common vision and is grounded by a well-established set of values. They “act the part” every day by demonstrating consistency, stability, and a positive outlook. They listen to their team members, do not overreact to changing circumstances, and have a degree of resilience that is infectious. These same leaders also appreciate the importance of having a disciplined approach to management and operations. While regularly demanding accountability of team members, these leaders embed a culture of accountability in a way that generally eliminates any need to remind team members of its importance.
As I shared with the audience in Prague, these leaders also appreciate how essential it is to find a way to align incentives with team members so, when the practice achieves its goals, they are quick to want to “share the upside” with staff. This is done in many different ways — both tangible and intangible. It is not always about the money. Frequently, it is about building a great business where team members willingly choose to struggle with you to achieve your vision.
I believe this “universal” leadership business model is constant across the globe and is the basis for delivering an excellent patient experience. When your staff is engaged, they tend to be happier, and, in turn, they will treat the next patient walking through your clinic in the manner and style they also want to be treated — with dignity and respect.
YOUR TURN: What do you do to ensure your patients have a positive experience? Please leave your response in the comment section below. Thank you.