While on a recent visit to the doctor, I was surprised to learn that they didn’t offer Wi-Fi for patients while they wait to be taken back and seen. The cell signal was weak and I could’ve been productive while I had to wait. But that wasn’t the case. They had internet and Wi-Fi. They just didn’t make it available to patients.
In our internet-connected world, not offering Wi-Fi access to patients just doesn’t make sense. It would be akin to walking into a restaurant and being told, “Sorry, we don’t serve water.” If you were told that by the hostess or waiter, I’d bet you might walk out. In my view, the internet is a utility, much like water and electricity. It’s no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.
Most retail environments provide Wi-Fi access precisely because they want people to spend more time (and more money) in their place of business. Having a guest network with an easy-to-enter password is an easy and inexpensive fix. It’s a small gesture that communicates that you value patients’ (as well as their family members’ or drivers’) time.
While this particular insight didn’t make it into Beyond Bedside Manner, it’s just as valuable. I thought every doctor’s office already offered Wi-Fi. But if your practice doesn’t, then why not?
This brief video summarizes this topic and includes an example of service recovery where my internet service provider Comcast didn’t have Wi-Fi in their store.