That headline got your attention, didn’t it? Honestly, we’ll admit that just typing it awoke a slumbering anxiety within us, drawing forth a memory that every self-respecting healthcare practitioner is loathe to relive:
A negative patient review, splashed across a website for all to see.
Hurtful, disappointing, and exasperating! Yet, lightheartedness aside, there are very real repercussions for you as a professional, and for your dermatology practice. You see, we chose healthcare because we want to help people, and when that passion is called into question it cuts all the deeper.
Just have a look at these reviews:
‘I found him to be dismissive of my questions like I had no idea what I was talking about. Rude. Pompous, and entitled.
Would NOT recommend this place. First and foremost people with skin issues need someone that is compassionate, and he is NOT.
Go at your own peril.’
— Dermatology Practice, Chicago
Brutal. Here’s another, longer one, just to drive the point home:
‘I went to this dermatologist twice … I saw [the doctor] for, say, five minutes — and actually two of those she and her assistant were talking about the previous patient.
When she finally turned her attention to me, her diagnosis took about 10 seconds … Afterwards, I was sent to the front desk to make another appointment with her [assistant] and that was the LAST time I ever saw [the doctor]. Not once did she stop in to see how things were going, or to tell me as I lay on my back on the table that all was going per her instructions, etc.
… What angers me about this is that I paid top dollar to see a person who went to medical school and then on to a residency in dermatology … but I didn’t get that: I got an assistant who, while competent to a point, did NOT go to medical school — and this is my face we are talking about! … So, I won’t be going back but will look for another clinic.’
— Dermatology Practice, Dallas, Texas
But healthcare experience is a two-way street. And just as the internet can be used by patients to relay their feedback, so can it be used to gauge how your talents are being received, and where your practice and staff could improve.
We’ve been through many online doctor reviews from all over the United States, and here are the 5 most common problems we’ve discovered, as well as how to solve them:
- It’s difficult to find information about the practice on the website. Since your website will in all probability be the first point of contact, it needs to be intuitive and easy-to-use for a first time visitor. A prospective patient should know within 3–5 seconds how to contact you for an appointment. Integrating an online scheduling system will streamline the process while adding your GPS location will help patients save travelling time on the day of the appointment.
- Waiting rooms that don’t have enough seats, are untidy and have nothing to read or keep the mind occupied. The waiting area is a patient’s first impression of your dermatology practice. Such things as office cleanliness and a friendly, attentive staff will make sure it’s a positive one. Other aspects to consider are television or radio volume, professional attire of all staff, and having the required paperwork ready and waiting.
- Rude and dismissive of concerns and questions. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes by showing care and concern. Patients detest indifference, and doctors who avoid eye contact, staff who would clearly be anywhere else but at the front desk, as well as frustrating delays, will tarnish the practice in their eyes. Be empathetic to their worries, listen to them with compassion, and always ensure their time is respected.
- Staff is uneducated and unprofessional. Ensure your staff is knowledgeable, can effectively answer patient questions, and reflects your practice’s values. Advanced Training in Dermatology provides the education needed to get the best out of your employees. This high level of professionalism translates into a better patient experience overall, and an efficiently run, effective practice.
- Doctor who doesn’t care and is just about billing. Follow up with your patients after consultations. Implement a callback policy so that patients know they’re not just a number. Not only does this strengthen the relationship, it also demonstrates that you care about them. The bonus is that a positive patient experience converts to referrals and returns! All for the price of a simple phone call to check up on them.
Make Sure Your Dermatology Practitioners Are Sufficiently Trained
The importance of training for your staff cannot be overstated. A confident dermatology care team will immediately put a patient at ease, be far more adept at handling the stresses of a busy practice, better anticipate your needs, and have the necessary skills to create a positive patient experience.
Advanced Training in Dermatology lays a perfect foundation from which to build an exceptional team. This comprehensive program, created by world-renowned dermatologist Dr Perry Robins in collaboration with other thought-leaders, provides learners with the skills to manage patient intake, assist with medical and aesthetic procedures, as well as conduct patient counselling.