Private Practice Patient Care Tips
By Judy Huch
In recognition of May Is Better Hearing Month…promote audiology and healthy hearing care.
There needs to be a culture of quality if we are to bring audiology into the spotlight in being the experts in hearing and balance. Ritz Carlton former president and COO, Horst Schultz, describes very well that we can create transactions every day, but until we place the person next to us as the most important person in the world in that moment, we will never create an experience. No matter which employee you ask in a Ritz Carlton what their objective is, they will all say, “to keep our guest.”
What does customer satisfaction look like in a private practice for audiology? It starts with finding the gifts of our employees and making sure they share the vision of the practice. The mission statement and core values should be more than a phrase in the company handbook. It should be lived every day in the offices they serve in and yes, all of us need to be reminded of what this mission is on a regular basis.
Every employee will receive and give information in unique ways, some are very detailed oriented, and others just want to get to the punchline as quick as possible. As owners and managers, we need to have a clear idea of where we are headed and what our goals are and then repeat these goals throughout the year. Also, find a way to say thank you to your employees or those you manage in their “love language” whether it is praise, gifts, or your time. It can be challenging to do this is you don’t speak the same language.
After we have accomplished this, then we must keep our customers loyal. Horst Schultz reminds us that a loyal customer will spend more, willingly. Then it is essential to obtain new patients (customers) keep them loyal and be efficient about it. He never brings up his competition, ever. He drills down on how to keep people loyal, happy and they pay for having the feeling they are the most important person in the world in that moment.
We have programs to train audiology assistants to schedule more efficiently. We have database management systems that we can market to our own database at least four times a year. We have our audiology associations who provide us with ideas to implement. We must talk about hearing assistance technologies (HAT) to our patients routinely (see relevant article in Audiology Today by John Greer Clark and Britany Gilb). But we must carry the mantel ourselves, not wait for the next brilliant audiologist to do it, that person is in the mirror!
The audiologist has the responsibility to educate other medical professionals on how audiology has to be part of the medical team for our patients in which David Fabry and Don Nielsen presented at AAA this year and is shared again in an Audiology Today article here.
Spread the good within your own business, community, state, and nation, and make sure everyone you connect with knows what an Audiologist is and, in that moment, whoever you are connecting with THEY are the most important person in the world.
Judy Huch, AuD, is an audiologist in private practice and a member of the Academy’s Public Awareness Committee.