Your Patient or Your Guest?
The acid test for service quality

by Susan Keane Baker

Do you consider your patients your guests? Think about the process you follow when you invite guests to your home:

First, you invite them – you let them know that you like their company and spending time with them.

Second, you prepare for their arrival. You clean up until your children ask “Who’s coming over?”

You try to make your guests feel comfortable when they arrive. “May I get you anything? May I take your coat?”

Third, you give them directions and a time to arrive. You might expect them to be fashionably late, but you’ll be there, ready to greet them at the appointed hour.

You introduce them to others in your home. You might give them a tour – even of the obvious. “This is the dining room.”

You don’t speak in a foreign language, such as Portuguese or medical-ese.

You don’t leave them sitting in the living room alone for forty minutes without telling them what’s happening.

If asked for something, you would never say, “You’re not our only guest, you know.”

You try to find common interests to talk about.

When the visit is over, you thank them for coming.

Are you treating patients the way you treat friends? It’s the acid test for determining the level of service quality you are providing.