Customer service is one of the most important functions of the heath care industry. Entrepreneur reports that patients who receive good customer service report better health outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction with their overall health care. Every department of a health care facility should be trained in proper techniques for delivering superior customer service to patients.
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Compassion is an important aspect of health care customer service. People in hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices are often sick, in pain and worried. Good customer service means understanding and empathising with the patient in tough situations and changing your approach to fit the patient’s needs. Without compassion, you run the risk of further upsetting a patient, which can have detrimental effects on overall health outcomes.
Good customer service in health care means providing an extra measure of responsiveness. Patients' needs should be met as soon as possible to avoid undue discomfort or worry. Oblige reasonable patient requests whenever possible, even if the request creates an inconvenience for you or other staff members. If you cannot provide what the patient needs, explain why and offer an alternative.
Health care customer service also involves displaying a high level of professional restraint in dealing with a diverse array of people and situations. A patient who is nervous, sick or in pain may become defiant and argumentative, and may lose his temper easily. Duke Regional Hospital recommends keeping your responses to patients' requests cordial, empathetic and positive even if the patient is demanding or unruly.
Paying attention to a patient’s body language, tone of voice and health conditions will help improve customer service in a health care setting. You must be able to tell when a patient is uncomfortable physically, mentally and emotionally in order to meet her needs. Missing important details can affect the outcome of care and is not good customer service.
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