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Improving Customer Service in Medical Centres Should be a Priority in 2021

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Doctor with tablet

(Rawpixel, Unsplash)

28 Jan. 2021. The Australian government has decided to wait a while and see which vaccines work best and how they affect people in other nations first before starting with internal vaccinations. However, it will not be too long before the rollouts begin here as well, provided that no adverse reactions are reported on a scale that’s severe enough to reconsider.

Healthcare centres, hospitals and medical clinics should start preparing for that time as soon as possible, since things are going to get exceptionally busy during the whole process. Improving customer management and care should be a top priority for medical facilities now, as that is where the situation is likely to be the most challenging. With both the upcoming immunisation roadmap and the overall need for improvements in medical customer service in point, a look through some of the expert suggestions should prove to be useful.

Attention to Pre-Visit Experiences

Customer interaction with medical facilities can be divided into several separate sections, and out of them all, the pre-visit is often found to be the most lacking aspect in most instances. Pre-visit communications can be defined as any and all interactions that a potential customer has with the concerned medical facility before physically coming in. Such interactions include, but are not limited to:

  • Telephonic interactions in the form of making queries, setting appointments, etc.
  • Online interactions via social media, the clinic website, online chat assistance and email

By adopting a customer centric approach, it is possible to mitigate the chances of a bad experience quite significantly for potential and present customers. The following steps have been proven to be quite helpful in achieving that across multiple Australian and international medical facilities:

  • Integration of pre-visit online services such as appointment making, form filling, etc. with the establishment’s webpage and/or app.
  • Active efforts to maintain a good online reputation on trusted review sites and user forums.
  • Separation of the customer care section from the query section; it makes the whole process go faster for both parties
  • Making a useful FAQ section to answer all common queries that patients may have
  • Creating a blog with interlinked pages to both market the company and provide practical, relevant knowledge to customers

Integration of Medical Practice Management Software

Most hospitals have software-based management and automation tools that they rely on heavily to get through the day. Unfortunately, a large percentage of smaller Australian medical clinics and private practices do not make use of cloud-based management tools.

While it’s true that hospital management solutions meant to serve large-scale medical operations would be far too expensive and completely unsuited for smaller clinics, healthcare facilities and private practices, there are other options for them to consider. For example, MedicalDirector has a very popular medical practice management software Australia based that private practices have found exceptionally useful for their specific needs. The tools in the solution help medical professionals make more out of their working hours by:

  • Providing a unified, intuitive, intelligent, highly accessible and simplified medical practice management interface that anyone can use
  • Automatically reminding both patients and professionals about upcoming appointments
  • Automating many of the micromanagement steps necessary, each time an appointment or event is rescheduled
  • Ensuring top of the line digital security for all connected patient data

Automation is an essential part of the medical business as a whole today, and no establishment in this sector can ignore it anymore, irrespective of its size, capacity or present scope. This has a direct impact on customer experience, given that patients can now be given more attention by the medical practitioners.

When intelligent software handles repetitive and mechanical tasks, they are completed with greater accuracy and speed, which naturally reduces waiting time for customers. Even more importantly, it adds more free time to the medical professional’s schedule, giving them the option to serve more patients and/or be more attentive towards the human needs of their patients/patient parties.

Attention to Post-Visit Experience

The medical industry is a business like no other, and there are certain duties which are unique to it. Therefore, the duties of any healthcare professional or medical clinic do not end as soon as the patient is out of the facility. A number of steps can and should be taken to make sure that the concerned clinic is not lacking in its ability to care for past patients. Automation is once again an important part of the solution here, but it cannot tackle all aspects of becoming a customer centric medical practice alone. As suggested by several experienced and updated professionals, the following steps are key to post-visit customer care:

  • Prescription refilling should be a mostly automated process within pre-set limits via the app/website/social media page
  • Ensuring that chat messages and phone calls are not left unattended for too long
  • Hiring experienced/trained customer care executives who know how they should talk to/chat with former patients
  • Ensuring that a call back system is in place where patients are called back as soon as possible if they were busy with another customer previously

The reputation of any practice is built by a combination of each patient’s experiences before, during and after visiting the clinic. In this new world of customer-centric business models in every field, no one in the medical industry can afford to lag behind in customer service, especially in times like these.

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