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Patient Experience Isn’t About Marketing…

patient experience isn't about marketing
What I’ve learned in the past few years is that focusing on customer experience or patient experience (for a medical practice) is all about operations. The best marketing campaign in the world won’t make up for a poorly trained front desk team member who fails to create a great first impression. 

PX-focused practices understand this and dedicate time and energy to improving operational excellence so that patients do have a great experience when visiting. Mapping out the patient’s journey from beginning to end is a start to identifying gaps between what you want to happen and what is actually happening

Many of the practices I’ve worked with have a flow that mirrors the six milestones shown in the image below:
These will look familiar to many of you, perhaps with a different word. We intentionally use “ing” words here as they better reflect what the process looks like from the patient’s perspective. 

The real work – roll up your sleeves! – is in defining the markers that fall under each milestone. Think of each marker as something that can be measured so you know what success looks like. For example, if we want to greet each person by name upon arriving, then we need to have a defined procedure (aka a marker) that can be trained, reinforced, and observed/measured. 

With one practice I’ve worked with, we have identified 21 markers so far, each of which has a well-defined measurable component. Collectively, they greatly impact the overall experience for the patient. Team members can be coached to succeed with each of these markers. 

Front-line employees can take pride in knowing that their specific behavior influences patient perception and the overall value of the practice. Isn’t this what marketing was supposed to do? Yes, but using PX is a better and more sustainable approach. Investing in PX-type training pays long-term dividends that advertising cannot match.

If you’re looking for guidance in this area, feel free to reach out! We have workshops and training programs that can be customized to the needs of your practice. 

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “the role of marketing is to make sales superfluous.” The modern-day PX equivalent, attributed to authors Pine and Gilmore: “The role of experience is to make marketing superfluous.” Yes!

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