Chip, from http://www.pedsource.com/chipsblog has an OUTSTANDING post that takes a completely different approach to the Swine Flu epidemic and how medical practices ought to approach the enormous attention and coverage this virus is getting. Here are some of the points that hit the hardest for me.
Addressing how many of us are complaining with the amount of unnecessary calls our offices are getting, Chip had this to say:
“If you think this way, you’re missing a giant opportunity. Every time a patient calls your office, you send them a letter, you change your on-hold message, etc., it is your chance to re-establish yourself as the trusted source of medical information for your patients. It’s also your chance to let your patients know about any changes to your practice. And remind them that you, more than anyone, are looking out for their needs.”
He also suggest we can take advantage of this opportunity to infom patients/parents about preventive wellness issues, changes in the practice and practice news among other things:
“I’m talking about improving your clinical care. You just wrote out a protocol for your nurses to follow for everyone who calls in – add a single sentence about the importance of those well visits. Did you add morning or evening office hours but many patients still don’t know? Now’s a good time to remind them, a few hundred are calling this week. A new doctor in the practice? Added or dropped an insurance company? More details on the WWW site?”
“Stop thinking about [the phone calls] as a chore and start thinking about it as your chance to get them back in the fold. Let them know that you are prepared to help them and that you care.”
Wow. I’m jealous and ashamed. I’m jealous because I didn’t come up with a post as good as this. And I’m ashamed because here I am talking about connecting with parents and providing remarkable service, yet I’m complaining about the amount of “unnecessary” calls our office is having as a result of the swine flu coverage.
Chip, Thanks! Thank you for reminding me (and my staff as soon as I print your post and hand it over to them) that fundamentally, this is exactly why we are here; to provide our parents piece of mind.
You can read Chip’s entire post here.