The word patient comes from patio which is to suffer. Hospital is a place which gets more demanding and challenging people to deal with. Sickness is not an enthusing state for anyone of us.
It is imperative for every working member of a hospital to adept at customer delight focussed approach.

CASE: Ravi had high fever and he was admitted in the hospital for a thorough check up to find the cause of prolonged fever.
The day he was admitted in the hospital, he was told that it would only be two days stay.
On the third day (day of discharge), a duty nurse enters Ravi’s room

Ravi: Sister, what time can I leave?
Nurse: No discharge today

Ravi: Why?
Nurse: Don’t know, ask doctor when he come for rounds

Ravi: What is the reason written in the file for extension of my hospital stay?
Nurse: Can’t show you the file.

By this time, Ravi is at “not a customer status” from a “Potential customer”

WHAT WENT WRONG

Ravi was not informed about the extension of stay
Indifferent attitude
Nurse should have come with full information on the test, reports and the reason for extension
Nurse shouldn’t have told Ravi to check with doctor, she should have checked the file or with doctor for information and have shared the same according to the protocol.

NO INFROMATION/SURPRISES THAT COST a customer his time and money create problems and lack of trust in the system starts building up from this point. WE HAVE AN IRATE CUSTOMER.

Reasons for Complaints
Bad Attitude
Lack of professional skills
Patient Expectations
Waiting Time
Communication Gaps

HOW TO HANDLE PATIENT COMPLAINTS

Listening is the key: This is most important. We need to understand the problem completely before offering solutions.
Empathy: Acknowledge their concerns and feelings
Probing: Ask close and open-ended questions to understand the problem if required.
Inform: Inform them about the actions taken and reasons for the delays, mistake etc.
Close the complaint: Offer the solution, take their feedback and close the complaint ensuring the patient is satisfied.
Document the complaint: To ensure that the problem is dealt with properly, analysed and corrected and should not reoccur.

PREVENTING THESE SITUATIONS

Value people’s time
Information is the key to customer satisfaction
Sticking to the timelines
Learn from previous mistakes and have a plan executed to eradicate the reasons to ensure no repetition.

“ A HAPPY CUSTOMER IS THE BEST STRATEGY OF ALL “

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