Medical Practice Mystery Shopping

The healthcare industry has not been recognized as a leader in delivering high levels of customer service. The dermatology practice is slightly different than most other medical practices in this respect. Dermatologists, as a group recognized the importance of delivering quality service more quickly than many other types of medical practices. Two reasons for this are the evolution of services offered and the change in the demographics of the patients that this created.

One factor that comes to mind is the emergence and growth of aesthetic services within the dermatology practice. A benefit that aesthetic dermatology has brought to this field of medicine is that the patients tend to have higher expectations since they are typically paying cash for the services rendered. Many dermatologists with whom I have spoken didn't necessarily interpret this experience positively at first. Some were a little disillusioned at that time. However, in retrospect, the bar was raised in the area of meeting patient expectations and the industry as a whole has benefited from the experience of making an effort to exceed patient expectations.

A very beneficial method of gathering patient experience information is to incorporate a medical practice mystery shopping program into your standard operating procedures. Hotels, restaurants, and retail businesses have used mystery shoppers for a very long time due to the high level of competition for the customer in their very specific marketplaces. Mystery shopping hasn't seemed as important in medicine until recently. One major reason was that the need wasn't really appreciated until patients were lured away by practices that were early adopters of improving their level of quality.
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Tip of the Month
Have you Googled yourself lately? Search using your name and your practice name. You may be surprised at what you find (or don't find).

Did you know?
"From a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point."

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman
on Sept. 15, 2009.

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