You have a beautiful clinic. Your staff is impeccable. Yet, your patients don’t seem to be responding as positively to their treatment as you would expect. What could possibly be going on? Perhaps it is worth considering their overall experience, not just the time during exercise or observation.
- Is information hard to find?
- Is it easy to make an appointment?
- Is the experience in the clinic as pleasant as possible?
Seeing a doctor is not usually something that people look forward to, but when the visit is pleasant overall, it can result in less fear and better participation. This is where Service Design enters the picture. This discipline focuses on a purposeful review of your patient’s needs along with a review of your organization to create a workflow that improves quality and efficiency. A successful service design can deliver a positive patient experience that aligns with the goals of the clinic.
To review your patient experience, take a look at their entire journey from beginning to end…from looking up clinic information to follow up care. Ask several of your staff to track, or even better, walk through the entire process. Interview some of your patients.
Then, review your “back of house” procedures to identify any bottlenecks or problem areas. It is important to be open and honest in this assessment. There can be a variety of areas with opportunity for improvement, such as policies, technologies, organizational structure, etc.
Gather these sample journeys and map out each step and identify any consistent pain points.
Next, use this information and map out a workflow. Consider these questions:
- What could be done to make each step better?
- Can a change be implemented to make the workflow more delightful?
- Can a step be eliminated altogether?
The solution might be as simple as better staff communication, or something a little more complex like introducing a technological solution.
Don’t worry if the initial improvement isn’t drastic at first. Let the workflow evolve and improve upon it in iterations. In either case, the result will be worth the investment when your patients have a more positive experience.