Your experience at any healthcare facility is shaped by the individuals you encounter during each office visit. From the reception staff to the clinicians themselves, every employee has a role to play in improving patient care, experience and satisfaction. When you go to the doctor, there are a few key people that can either make or break your experience. If you’re looking for a new doctor’s practice to visit, here are a few types of people you should pay attention to before you make your decision.
Receptionists are often the first people to have contact with you when you arrive. They generally handle your initial call for appointment scheduling, and they also help with providing forms for the patient to complete in the waiting room. To improve your experience, receptionists should aim to be friendly and positive. They should take your concerns seriously and work with you to find a suitable appointment time. It is particularly important that receptionists are prepared to explain delays to all patients in the waiting room. If you call to make an appointment and the receptionists don’t do these things, you might want to consider another doctor’s office.
After you check in, you are likely to be seen by a medical assistant. Medical assistants help with a variety of tasks in clinics and hospitals. The training that medical assistants receive includes how to measure vital signs such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure. After these are recorded, the medical assistant will pass your readings to the physician. How their job is defined and whether medical assistants have a more expanded role largely depends on state requirements.
Nurses are also key players when it comes to a quality patient experience. They, too, are some of the first people to interact with patients. Blood tests, vaccines and other needle procedures can be unpleasant or painful for many patients, and this could significantly impact your experience and overall satisfaction at the office. To optimize your experience, nurses should be particularly sensitive if you have needle phobia. This includes giving you the option of using a numbing cream that can be applied before the procedure. Nurses can also improve your office experience by ensuring confidentiality and responding to your questions honestly and professionally.
The physician assesses your condition, providing a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Many patients report feeling as though they don’t have enough time with their physician to have all their symptoms explained, and this can impact patient satisfaction. To improve the patient experience, physicians should aim to spend as much time as they can with you. You shouldn’t feel like the doctor is rushed and not paying attention to your needs. Even if the physician is short on time, having a warm personality and showing compassion for your situation could enable you to feel satisfied with the appointment overall. During an exam, doctors can improve your satisfaction by taking steps to protect your privacy and modesty. For example, they can give you sheets or drapes to cover areas not being examined.
Taking a look at these key players is important when you’re picking a new physician to visit. By considering the above factors, you can make sure that you can have the best experience when you visit your doctor.
Here’s another great article: Is My Doctor Giving Me Too Many Prescription Drugs?