Healthcare providers and the sales reps who service them are part of the largest customer service industry in the world. The importance and urgency for providers and their suppliers to adopt a more customer-oriented mindset was the topic of Welch Allyn’s recent, inaugural Patient Experience Summit.

 

For providers, customer service isn’t just limited to a patient’s interactions with their doctors and nurses. “It’s not just about how we interface with patients; it’s also about how we interact with each other,” said Jim Merlino, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s chief experience officer. “There are things that we bring to what we do every day that are going to impact how we care for people.”

 

Providers are being slammed with changes in every direction. The brunt of these changes, such as declining reimbursements and the medical device tax, have directly affected the bottom line in every facet of the continuum. In response, hospitals are collaborating or consolidating, physician groups are aligning themselves with provider systems, etc.

 

At the same time, consumers have more power than ever before. “Reform today is very different,” said Merlino. “It requires us to look at, and pay attention to [the patient quality survey]… it’s how we achieve our success.” The providers who will be the most successful are those that provide the best care experience, not just those who are the best at curing ailments, he said.

Look for more in the January issue of Repertoire

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