We all have things in our lives that are “fine” or “as good as it gets.” And for some things, that’s all we need. But you also know that feeling when you’ve accepted the status quo, and then you experience what it COULD be – the kind of results you never even knew were possible.
I had an experience like that last week.
I recently switched health care providers. The medical group I had been with was fine, but I didn’t even realize how good health care could be until I had my first appointment with the new provider.
With my previous provider, I would block off half of the day for an appointment. Between the long check-in line, the waiting room time, the time waiting for the doctor in the patient room, the time spent with the doctor, and the possibility of having to go to the lab or pharmacy – which may not be located in the same facility or city – I knew a fair amount of my day would be consumed dealing with the doctor’s office. Also, if any tests were run, I would receive the results in the mail a few weeks later, unless it was a matter that required a phone call.
I thought this was normal. If you’re anything like me, your perspective on health care overall is jaded; I didn’t think it could get any better.
So far with my new provider, I’m amazed by how technically advanced they are, and how that translates directly to customer satisfaction.
To give you an idea of my experiences, here’s how my last visit went: I arrived 15 minutes early for my 9:30 appointment and checked in using the self-service kiosk. I walked to the waiting area and was called back by the nurse at 9:30. She took my vitals, brought me to a patient room, and the doctor came in three minutes later. I spent 10 minutes talking with her, had a procedure done, had medications ordered at the on-site pharmacy, and she sent me on my way. By the time I left, I had a prescription in-hand, and an email summary of my visit with a few of the test results included. The rest of my results were to be available online within five days. My total time spent there was 45 minutes – it would have been less if I hadn’t arrived early!
To say I was blown away is an understatement.
Given my technology background, I was especially impressed by their use of information technology (IT) to increase patient satisfaction.
The self-service kiosk reduced check-in time. This system alerted my nurse that I’d arrived. My vitals were recorded in the system as the nurse took them. The doctor was able to quickly pull up all of my information, order tests and refill my prescriptions from the patient room. Her notes and orders went straight to the departments that needed them. Those departments were ready for me before I was able to walk to them. Talk about efficiency!
It’s amazing when systems and processes are optimized for customer satisfaction. Isn’t that what all companies are hoping for, regardless of the industry? You want to deliver your product or service and have people be blown away by the seamless experience.
Take a look at your business technology and processes. Is your IT department just focused on keeping things humming along – emails keep flowing, backups get done, things that are broken get fixed, etc. – or is it aligned with your business objectives and helping you serve your customers better?
In today’s business environment, every IT dollar has to add value. Where do your IT support costs and results fall within industry standards? Isn’t it time to know if you’re investing in status quo or in competition-crushing advancements?