In Hospitals, Personal Care is About Customer Service

Patients go to hospitals to take their pain away, to have their broken bones healed, to have their injuries diagnosed, to have their elective surgeries, and to give birth to their bouncing new babies.

And even though this care is provided to address their needs and pains and injuries, how many patients feel that they’re being cared for as a person has little to do with the healthcare.  Instead, it has all to do with the customer service that the patient receives.  Yes, the phlebotomist is drawing the blood, but is the employee so focused on the vein that they don’t interact with the person from whom they’re drawing the blood?  Yes, the surgeon is about to perform surgery, but is the wait so long and the communication so lacking during the wait that the patient feels like she’s been forgotten?  Yes, the emergency room staff will eventually care for the injury, but are they so focused on tasks and activities and paperwork that the patient feels like a cog on the assembly line?

Patients go to hospitals for the healthcare, but they often choose a particular hospital because of the customer service.  Do the employees greet and focus on the patient?  Are they patient with the patient?  Do they take ownership over needs and treat the patient with courtesy and respect?  Do they try to find solutions to problems, or do they simply get defensive or blame co-workers when issues arise?  Are they quick in responding to the call bell or the phone call?  Do they explain what will happen next and why?  Are they empathetic and caring when they perform their services?

The hospital’s product is the healthcare, but the patient’s point of reference in determining how they’re cared for as a person is all about how they’re communicated with, how they’re treated, and what the processes are like.  It’s about customer service.

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