Quality PX is all about the little things – the details of daily life at work – that seem to make the real difference as far as patients and employees are concerned.
Looking to improve your PX? You may not have to do a major renovation or spend a huge amount of money to make it happen.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some great medical practices over the years. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that the “big ideas” we come up with for change are often mistaken for having a big impact on how the practice is perceived. In reality, it’s the little things – the details of daily life at work – that seem to make the real difference as far as patients and employees are concerned.
4 Small Changes That Can Make a BIG Difference
1. Internet Access
Take internet access, for instance. One practice I regularly work with had tons of complaints from employees about internet speeds being too slow. It was impacting their ability to communicate effectively during patient consultations and access the schedule to book procedures.
Upon further investigation, we learned that the ISP (internet service provider) was charging a whopping $2,300 per month for a 50 MB download speed. With many households able to sign up for “gig speed” internet (1 GB = 1,000 MB), this seems upside down in terms of value for the dollar.
Indeed it is. Working with the operations team, we were able to find significantly better value by making a few phone calls, as shown in the chart below:
The practice had endured the current provider only because they were in the middle of a contract with a stiff cancellation clause. However, the vast reduction in cost – along with being able to provide a better employee and patient experience – justifies the change even when factoring in the costs to cancel.
It would have been easy to simply wait until the contract is up and then find a better deal. But how much business might have been lost due to the “negative cue” of slow internet? Fortunately, they won’t have to find out.
This is one of those seemingly small items that in reality makes a big difference for your patients and your staff. You won’t get much credit for having superfast internet, but you will get complaints and frustration by not providing it.
Here are a few other similar issues that I’ve helped a practice contend with that’s doing a major renovation. They are being thoughtful as they aim to re-design for an even better patient experience:
2. Water Fountains
Covid-19 has changed the way water fountains are viewed by most of us. Sadly, building permits still require them. Fortunately, there are models now that combine the traditional drinking fountain with a dispenser to fill a bottle or flask.
The dispensers are touchless, creating an opportunity to provide a safe option for your drink fountain. It also gives you a great excuse to make a practice-branded water bottle as a durable gift to patients!
When building new offices, it’s tempting to order office chairs from Office Depot or Costco. But for employees who are sitting most of the day, this is a disservice. Investing in higher-grade ergonomic task chairs – which cost twice as much – is an investment in the well-being of employees and shows how much you care. After all, these are the people that care for patients as well, albeit in a different capacity.
4. Flat Panel Displays
Having displays in the reception area can help offset wait times for patients between arrival and start times for their appointment. The real challenge is what programming to display on those monitors. My recommendation is to ditch “informational” content about procedures or services, which can more easily be accessed when the patient is not at the practice. Similarly, it’s a bad idea to broadcast the news, which tends to be negative and anxiety-inducing.
Instead, focus on soothing or stunning visuals that are interesting to watch by patients and not mind-numbing to your team members. BBC’s Planet Earth series is a great example of a show that is both engaging and family-friendly.
These are just a preview of hundreds of items that impact the patient experience. They are part of the overall choreography that the best medical practices work carefully to design, implement and continuously improve as part of the PX Movement.