Patient Experience: “The Waiting Room versus the Treatment Room.”

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Whilst researching for a medical conference presentation, I came across some interesting information regarding the causative issues behind complaints posted in online patient experience forums.

The study conducted by Vanguard Communications and published in the (U.S.) Journal of Medical Practice Management, essentially concluded that 96% of complaints faulted the “Customer Service” not the “Quality of Care”. 

“An analysis of nearly 35,000 online reviews of doctors nationwide has found that customer service – not physicians’ medical expertise and clinical skill – is the overwhelming reason patients complain about their healthcare experiences on the Internet.” 

“The study reveals that only 1 in 25 patients rating their healthcare providers with two stars or fewer is unhappy with his or her physical examination, diagnosis, treatment, surgery or health outcome.” 

“The other 96 percent of patient complaints cite poor communications, disorganization and excessive delays in seeing a physician as the cause for dissatisfaction.”

Complaint Factors

“Our study uncovered a torrent of patient allegations of doctors running behind schedule, excessive waiting time to see a provider, billing problems, indifferent staff, and doctors’ bedside manners. The nearly unanimous consensus is that in terms of impact on patient satisfaction, the waiting room trumps the exam room.”

 

The study’s author does make a valid point that online reviews of specific physicians or clinics don’t provide a scientific or fair sample upon which to draw conclusions and base decisions. Practices that aim to provide high standards of customer care generally employ their own direct feedback process to monitor satisfaction and improve performance.

The study was designed to gauge to what degree patients were focused on customer experience issues (which are systemically fixable) versus medical treatment.

As such, the evidence appears conclusive that problems patients are most likely to share online, overwhelmingly relate to the “Administrative” functions and interactions of medical practices. 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Trends in Cosmetic Procedures. Are there lessons here for Australian Clinics?

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The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has just released data from their most recent study of cosmetic procedure trends, showing the comparative results from 2017 versus 2016.

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/new-statistics-reveal-the-shape-of-plastic-surgery

 

The report shows overall growth of 2% in the total number of procedures undertaken (year-on-year). It also highlighted the rapid growth in the “minimally invasive procedure” category, which is up nearly 200% since Year 2000.

 

Top performers in the “Minimally Invasive” category were: Cellulite treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma and Fat Freezing.

 

Highest growth in the “Surgical” category were: Hair Transplantation and Breast Reduction. (Interestingly, the number of Buttock Implant procedures fell by 56%.)

 

The key charts within the report are a little dense and difficult to see in the online version, so we’ve taken the liberty to summarise the most significant results for both categories below:

 

 

ASPS Chart 2

ASPS Chart 1

 

Cosmedicon 2018 is just 2 weeks away.

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This year’s Cosmedicon is being held at Sydney’s InterContinental Hotel Double Bay, from the 15th to 18th March.

 

The two-day scientific program will feature prominent international and local thought leaders delivering their insights and practice pearls on the most relevant and cutting edge techniques and products in minimally invasive cosmetic practice, including facial rejuvenation, body sculpting, skincare and laser.

The post-conference full-day program, the ‘Business of Beauty’, delves into the practicalities of running and managing a successful business and will feature business strategies, practice management pearls and new techniques at the intersection of beauty and cosmetic practice.

 

I’m very excited to be presenting a Patient Experience Case Study at Cosmedicon and honoured to be also chairing several of the sessions at this prestigious event.

 

One thing in particular to keep an eye out for will be the announcement of results from a new survey of “Australian Consumer Attitudes to Non & Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures.” The data gleaned from this will be invaluable marketing intelligence for anyone involved in cosmetic medical industry.

 

Looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues at the conference.

 

Survey of Consumer Attitudes on Cosmetic Enhancement Procedures. (Closing shortly!)

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On behalf of Cosmedicon, Insight is conducting research on Australian consumer trends and attitudes, regarding minimally invasive medical procedures and treatments.

 

The survey covers issues such as;

  • The most popular types of procedures.
  • Motivational factors.
  • How consumers research treatments, and
  • How they choose a suitable clinic or practitioner.

 

The results of the study will be published in conjunction with the Cosmedicon conference in March.

 

Please contribute your thoughts and opinions to this important study.

It takes only 2 minutes and your participation will be of enormous assistance and greatly appreciated.

 

 Take Survey

 

Or copy and paste this link to your browser.

https://www.research.net/r/Cosmedicon2

 

 

Impact of the first greeting on patient experience

A short article describing the personal experiences this patient encountered with two different medical practices.

Well worth a couple of minutes to read.

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The greeting.

Such a small thing, but a wide lens to what a patient’s experience might be like during a visit to the doctor. Greeting the patient – is critical to influencing the patient’s perception and expectations about the care they will receive.

Read on here:

You had me at Hello

New study reveals experiences of radiology procedures.

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Newly released original research provides valuable insight into the real-life experiences, perceptions and recommendations from 600 patients who recently underwent an imaging procedure using CT, MR, diagnostic X-ray or molecular imaging technology.

 

It’s a struggle for radiology services to balance the complexities of running an efficient and high-quality imaging service, while ensuring that patients get the best experience.

Philips recently published a study about the patient experience, surveying more than 600 American and German patients about their journey through the imaging process. While the results weren’t shocking, they’re still good reminders about what’s important to patients, how they perceive their treatment by medical staff, and their process in radiology’s care.

 

While 77% of patients surveyed rated their overall experience as very good or excellent, deeper insights reveal where and how imaging can be made better for patients. Of their priorities, patients cited the following needs as very important or extremely important:

  • 71%   It’s important that I trust my referring doctor
  • 69%   I want an effective scan with minimal dose
  • 67%   I want the right image the first time to reduce repeat scans
  • 58%   Minimal wait times to receive results

 

You can download the free Philips research study here:

https://www.healthsystems.philips.com/LP=1154

Patient experience is worse at medical practices run by large organisations.

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With the continuing trend of Australian medical practices being consolidated under the umbrella of larger groups and listed entities, this recent U.K. study provides some interesting food for thought.

 

03 November 2017

New research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concludes that patients registered to general practices owned by limited companies, including large organisations, reported worse experiences of their care than other patients. The research examined data for 7,949 general practices in England included in the General Practice Patient Survey 2013-2014.

The researchers, from Imperial College London, looked at five patient experience measures for the study – the frequency of consulting a preferred doctor; the ability to get a convenient appointment; rating of doctor communication skills; ease of contacting the practice by telephone; and the overall experience.

 

Read more: http://www.domain-b.com/industry/Healthcare/20171103_patients.html

Presentation at ASAPS Conference

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At the recent 40th Annual ASAPS Conference (Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) in Melbourne, we had the opportunity to present two papers in the ‘Business Management’ program. The second featured case studies of 2 cosmetic medical practices which had implemented Patient Experience Feedback programs, and showed the success those clinics had achieved as a result.

 

A key message of the presentation came from a quote by renowned business performance guru – H. James Harrington:

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.

If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it.

If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it.

If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.

 

With this in mind, we demonstrated how both clinics had carefully analysed both the quantitative data and patient narrative comments to evolve their procedures and achieve substantial improvement in critical areas of their operations. Both saw significant uplift in Key Performance Indicators:

Case study 1 slide

 

Neither practice achieved their success by simply looking at their PX program data. If only it were that easy.

It took the dedication to continually review feedback and engage with their teams to evolve operating procedures and standards. They kept asking the question ‘What can we do better’ until they got there. After 3 years, they’re still asking and still improving.

Flowchart

 

“Healthcare organizations will need to live up to a new service expectation if they want to continue to win the business of their service savvy customers” – PatientEngagementHIT.com

ASAPS Conference Presentation

Just a couple of weeks to go until the 40th Annual Conference of Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

We’re delivering a presentation featuring the results of Case Studies, demonstrating how Patient Experience Programs have delivered successful outcomes for 2 different clinics.

Date:Friday 20th October, 2017.

Session time: 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Here’s a preview of what we’ll be covering…

New Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Negative Online Patient Reviews: How to minimise the impact on your practice reputation.

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Our presentation at yesterday’s Cosmetex 2017 Practice Business Management session was a big hit.

 

The following slide in particular stirred up quite a buzz among the conference delegates.

We analysed over 6,000 responses to Patient Feedback surveys to identify the Top 10 issues that patients noted as unsatisfactory regarding their experience at cosmedical practices.

Top 10 Slide 2

 

Question: Which would you consider to be the better outcome?

  • Receiving a complaint directly from your patient, so it can be dealt with internally and discretely; or
  • Having the patient air their grievances publically, by posting them in an online forum, for everyone to see.

 

Something to think about.