When a patient pursues audiologic care at your practice, they have decided to embark on a lifetime journey to improved hearing with your guidance. Patient retention and overall satisfaction can be impacted by the direct patient care provided by the audiologist, and also the overall experience in the clinic. All clinic staff can take part in this.
There are many opportunities where a patient touch point or interaction can occur, and we should utilize these moments to enhance the patient experience. Below is a reminder of several touch points that provides opportunities to optimize the patient experience.
Initial Phone Call and Scheduling
Your scheduler is the first point of contact and shapes the initial impression. Calls should be answered in a timely manner and your scheduler should be trained in speaking with individuals with hearing loss over the phone.
Follow-Up Phone Calls
- All phone calls should be treated equally whether it is a new or existing patient. The same courtesy and timeliness should be demonstrated to all.
- Consider having someone from the office call patients a few days ahead. This helps to ensure a full schedule, but is also an opportunity for patients to ask questions about their upcoming visit.
- The waiting area should be clean, inviting, and the front desk team should acknowledge the patient’s arrival when they walk in the door. They should also be trained in communicating with individuals with hearing loss. The check in process should be streamlined and eye contact and a friendly smile makes the patient feel welcomed.
- Efforts should be made to ensure the patient is seen on time. If there is a delay, the patient should be notified as a courtesy.
- If a follow up appointment is needed, it is a nice gesture to accompany the patient to the checkout desk to ensure the appropriate follow up is scheduled.
Follow-Up Calls Post Initial Hearing Aid Fitting
- A courtesy call from the office a few days after an initial hearing aid fitting is a great way to show that the patient experience is important. This is an opportunity to identify concerns that need to be addressed with an appointment or if troubleshooting can be provided over the phone.
Follow-Up Calls Post Hearing Aid Evaluation
- Consider doing this one to two weeks after the initial consult to follow up on questions or schedule an additional visit. Some patients may be inclined to schedule another visit or move forward with a trial.
Recalls for Hearing Aid Checks or Hearing Tests (if permitted by insurance)
- Consider having the patient complete a recall postcard with their address upon check out or create a database and have your office staff conduct phone calls.
- This is a nice way to keep patients informed of new products and services. Consider including a monthly piece that highlights a specific provider.
- There should be designated hours when patients can walk in for basic hearing aid service or troubleshooting allowing easy access.