TOP10 PATIENT COMPLAINTS ABOUT COSMETIC MEDICAL PRACTICES

KERRY BIELIK FROM INSIGHT PATIENT SATISFACTION SOLUTIONS DISCUSSES THE RECTIFIABLE MISTAKES THAT ARE COSTING AESTHETIC MEDICAL PRACTICES BUSINESS.

Customer service expectations are rising across all service industry sectors and healthcare is no exception. This is particularly evident when it relates to elective procedures, where there is an increasingly competitive market environment.

A recent study conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers Health Research Institute revealed some interesting conclusions about the patient experience.

The highlights include:

  • The number one reason for choosing a doctor or clinic was a ‘personal experience recommendation’
  • 70 per cent of patients who leave cite ‘not being valued by the medical practice’ as their reason for doing so
  • ‘Service dissatisfaction’ accounts for a further 14 per cent of patient defections.

At Insight Patient Satisfaction Solutions, we decided to take that research one step further by uncovering what specific issues were the most common causes for complaint, possibly leading to patient defection. We analysed data from over 7,000 patient experience feedback survey responses, collected over a period of 10 months from 17 Australian practices working in the field of cosmetic medicine.

Whilst they represent a mixture of businesses providing surgical and non-surgical or minimally invasive procedures, there was sufficient representation of patient responses from both types to validate the findings.

The 10 most frequently stated issues and complaints were:

  • Calls/messages not returned – initial and/or subsequent enquiry
  • Hard to make an appointment or long lead time required
  • Treatment provider running significantly late for appointment, especially when no notification or explanation was provided
  • Reception/administration staff seemed abrupt or uncaring
  • Insufficient time during consult for discussion of treatment options or questions
  • Lack of transparency regarding costs
  • Patient care during hospital stay lacked care and personal attention
  • No contact with surgeon immediately after procedure (usually where general anaesthesia used)
  • Difficult to get treatment provider advice post-procedure for concerns about medical issues or complications
  • Mistakes in billing or medical rebates.

The above list is not ranked in any order of priority, as not all issues related to the di erent practice types. Whilst each of the businesses were generally well regarded by their patients as providing good customer service, it was interesting to note how frequently the same perceived issues were cited across the study sample. AMP

Kerry Bielik
Founder of Insight Patient Satisfaction Solutions, a specialist consulting firm delivering bespoke online customer experience programs for medical practices in Australia, the US and the Asia/Pacific region. Visit www.insightpss.com.au or call +61 414 365 865.