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Five Ways to Provide Good Customer Service to Patients in a Hospital
Good customer service is usually associated with retail occupations but also extends to patient care. Patients are in a vulnerable and sometimes stressful situation. They are in need of hospitality and consideration more than a shopper in a store or a business client. Let's face it, no one looks forward to a hospital stay; however, there are ways to make such an occasion less of a burden for patients if you are a hospital employee.
Improve Your Greetings
A simple hello and goodbye go a long way when it comes to helping a patient feel at ease. Acknowledge the patient as soon as you walk into the room. Address her by name and sincerely ask how she's doing or if she has any concerns. In addition to your greeting, give a parting comment as you leave. If the patient has visitors, a simple goodbye will do; otherwise, part ways with a patient by asking if she has any further requests before you go.
Inform Your Patients
Even with all the information readily available online, patients are still sometimes uninformed and uncertain about their medical conditions. Explain thoroughly what is going on with your patient and use simple laymen terms. Involve family members when needed or requested and use compassion when you must share bad news. Also explain what tests are being issued and the purpose behind procedures your patient may have to endure.
Being proactive is one key element that hospital employees can lack in terms of good customer service. Acknowledge when patients in a hospital appear bewildered and guide them in the right direction. Hospital signage can be particularly confusing, especially when you're not in tip-top shape. Encourage your staff and security guards to watch out for wandering patients and always take the lead in finding the proper help that hospital patients require.
Apologize When Needed
Another way to provide your patients with the best customer service is to always apologize when you're wrong. Being a patient in a hospital is a vulnerable position to be in. Even the playing field by showing that you are human, too. That extra level of compassion not only provides excellent customer service, but also validates them as a person.
Be Conscious of Time
In addition to explaining what condition a patient is dealing with, tell them how long to expect a procedure or event to last. For example, if you are transporting a patient to have an MRI, describe the procedure and how long you estimate it will take on that day. Also inform them if they'll be waiting a long time for their procedure to begin and keep them up-to-date on any delays. Showing consideration for a patient and her needs goes a long way in providing good customer service.
Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.