Exceeding Office Expectations
It is fairly easy in exceeding office expectations for the area of customer service, as people have an increasingly low expectation for the service they get at the doctor’s office. It’s normal in fee-for-service office systems to have to wait an hour or more to be seen, and then get only a few minutes of the doctor’s time (if a doctor is seen at all). Many patients often find they half-day off or work or activities, just to be seen. This has left people seeking alternative facilities, such as urgent-care type setting for their ailments.
What Your Office Visit Looks Like In A Fee-For-Service Office
You likely scheduled a 15-minute time slot. When the doctor’s medical assistant calls you back, you are on the clock. 15 minutes includes everything: time to walk back from the waiting room to the exam room, time for the medical assistant to take vitals (eg- blood pressure, temperature), time for the medical assistant to do the office intake questions. All this, even with the best and fastest medical assistant takes 7 minutes at a minimum. That leaves 8 minutes. 8 minutes for the doctor to do any courtesy conversation (eg- how have things been, what have you been up to since we last spoke), time for the history of illness questions, time for the physical exam, time for discussing what the possible diagnosis is, and time to wrap up the visit by either dispensing medications, ordering laboratory studies, or helping to coordinate your care. By the way, the doctor is going to want to document that visit in your electronic health record. 8 minutes is NOT enough to discuss acute or chronic illness, let alone anything. This results in, at best, frustration. At worst, people avoid care they should be getting.
At Beyond Primary Care, the patient has a much different experience:
- All days begin with multiple slots open for same-day urgent visits.
- Patients seldom have to wait more than 10 minutes to be seen.
- Appointments are 30 minutes per patient but can be extended to meet the needs of the patient.
- More than one concern can be address at your visit. Come in to talk about your anxiety, but want to discuss that mysterious new rash? That is what we do.
- Care is often done via text message or phone, reducing the need for coming to the office at all.
- Late/early office days because health issues don’t always arrive between 9 am – 5 pm and you shouldn’t have to miss work/school/etc to be seen.
With Beyond Primary Care, a premium is placed on exceeding office expectations, and again this is done because it’s in the best interest of our clinic, but returning health care to what it once was- focused on patient care.