Countless innovations have emerged in recent decades all meant to improve the quality of healthcare. From new medications to sophisticated databases of medical records, all these advances must mean that the quality of patient care is steadily improving. But that’s not the case across all medical practices.
These advancements can’t provide the quality of care patients expect and deserve without the right leadership. I’ve helped create and run multiple successful medical practices, and I’ve found that superior patient experiences start with a vision.
The Leadership Care Goal. Too often patients are treated like a list of symptoms on a chart rather than as the thinking, feeling humans that they are. The truth is, if you work in the medical field, whether you are a doctor or a receptionist, hospitality and customer service should be your top priorities.
The only way to provide dependable, high quality care to your patients is to lead in a way that puts patients first. That is the leadership care goal﹘ the mission to lead your team in a way that prioritizes patient experience above all else.
Define Quality Care. Inside every doctor is a patient. Think of what you expect when you are the one receiving care. As the leader of your practice, you are charged with defining what great care looks like. Once you’ve nailed down what makes up the ideal patient experience, you can apply your vision to everything. How you train your employees, how you correspond with customers, how your office is set up﹘ every part of your business should be intentionally designed to add value for your patients.
Patients First. The satisfaction of your patients should always come first. Unfortunately, many doctors act as though patients come second, right after their own needs or preferences. If your goal is excellence, this can’t be the case. In every situation, you must ask yourself how you can improve your customers’ experiences. Only when your vision for great care is aligned with your policies and processes can you provide the best care to every one of your patients.
No Matter How Small. Quality care doesn’t just happen. A well-run medical practice known for providing exceptional care is created over time, through thousands of short-term interactions and improvements. It takes foresight, planning, and well-managed execution, and every aspect of your practice, no matter how small, must have an intention behind it.
When aligning your processes with your vision, no element is too small to examine and revise. For example, the way staff answers the phones or the way in which patients are called back to see the doctor. All of these tiny interactions add up, and your patients will appreciate your attention to detail.
Seek Out Resources. The idea of the leadership care goal is vast, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ve read countless books on my journey to creating the best possible patient experience. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out my book One Patient at a Time.