Proper attention paid to the patient’s telephone experience and telephone intake can have a huge, favorable impact on your practice. By exploring why messages occur, you can proactively work toward reducing message volume. This understanding will also help your care team set patient expectations and improve the patient experience as it relates to telephone communication with your practice. Beyond all else, the importance of same-day callbacks simply cannot be overstated. We cover all this and more in our latest Endeavor for Excellence video: Messaging: What, When, and Why.
Correlation Analysis: Key Touch Points of the Patient Experience
Utilizing patient feedback from more than 16,000 patient visits, across both primary care and specialty care physician practices, the table below depicts key touch points of the patients experience and how each touch point relates to patient loyalty. Correlation coefficients for both Retention Loyalty and Advocacy Loyalty were calculated.
As you might expect, questions related to the provider-patient encounter returned the highest correlation coefficients for both Retention Loyalty* (RL) and Advocacy Loyalty** AL):
Did the patient perceive their examination as being thorough:
Did the patient perceive their provider answered their questions:
Did the patient perceive their provider expressed concern:
In terms of which of the key touch points have the greatest impact on patient loyalty, how the patient telephone calls were handled ranks very high on the list — right below the provider-patient encounter.
Did the patient perceive their telephone call was handled timely:
*Retention Loyalty is defined as: Patrons/patients of a business/physician practice likely to continue as repeat customers as a result of the activities and actions of the business/physician practice that meets or exceeds the customers/patients expectations.
**Advocacy Loyalty is defined as: Patrons/patients of a business/physician practice likely to tell someone about their favorable experience as a result of the activities and actions of the business/practices that meets or exceeds the customers/patients expectations.
Correlation Analysis: Same Day Callback vs Telephone Handled, and Same Day Callback vs Provider Ranking.
As would be expected, there is a strong relationship between the Telephone Handled aspect of the patient experience and the patient receiving a callback on the same day that they reached out to the practice.
The importance of handling the patient’s telephone call in a timely manner, and returning the patient’s call on the same day cannot be overstated; the over all impact, both good and bad, can be measured throughout the patient experience continuum.
TIPs and Techniques to Improve Same Day Callback Performance
If you would like to download an excerpt from a recent MedicalGPS webinar titled, “Same Day Callback: TIPs and Techniques to Improve“, please feel free to click here and share with your team. Below are some of the highlights.
- Collaborate with Providers and Staff to Develop written call-back guidelines and standards
- Set a same-day call-back cut-off time i.e. messages left after 4:00 PM will be returned the next morning by 10:00 AM
- Ensure call-back commitment-window can be consistently achieved by your team
- Advertise the cut-off time as often as possible with every patient — setting expectations is key
- Assign each message to a staff member for follow-up
- Track & communicate message return compliance
Above all else, call the patient back on the same day, even if an answer or resolution to the patients inquiry has not been realized. Let the patient know you and your team are working on getting the information the patient needs.