How to Create a Patient Experience Like The Biggest Business in the World
We talked about how Big Business is using Big Data to measure, track, and manage the customer experience. Amazon, Apple, Zappos and many others are making sure that every customer interaction is analyzed and quantified to continuously improve. In the process they are building a huge base of loyal customers and grabbing more and more market share. So, why in a profession like Chiropractic that is so rooted in taking care of our patients, has the patient experience been an afterthought?
To answer that question, you have to look at the basis big firms use to manage the customer experience…Big Data. Big Data uses technology and software that tracks every interaction and critical task, analyzes it, and breaks it into easily actionable information. This process is what has made it possible for Big Business to not only understand and react to their customer’s current preferences but also to anticipate the customer’s future needs, innovate, and adapt quickly to market changes. This enterprise level methodology focuses on three key things – People, Processes, and Technology. It is a secret that Big Business has known for years.
The technology they use does not come cheap. In fact, each company continually invests tens of millions in their software to achieve that perfect customer experience. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why individual chiropractors and other small businesses have not been able to keep up and also why the management of the patient care experience in most chiropractic offices has not achieved the attention it deserves up to this point.
The Chiropractic software on the market now is 20 years behind, an eternity in the technology race. And, current practice management technologies are built on antiquated software platforms, written in old software languages, and not in the cloud. This makes them impossible to update. Most chiropractic software today is built to sell licenses to doctors rather than to help chiropractors create an enterprise level patient experience.
Without this “enterprise level” technology, Chiropractors have unknowingly been stuck in a time warp. We have been left to rely on lists of things that need to be done each day, laying the burden on our staff and our own memories for follow-up and follow through on important patient experience tasks. At best, some Chiropractors may have been using outdated Chiropractic software to print endless reports to go through and check task completion. Insurance billing, unpaid claims, missed patient visits, expired care plans…To read every report necessary to ensure that all tasks effecting the patient experience have been completed is impossible.
Adding even more difficulty, Chiropractors must act as both the business owner and an active employee. This is like being the conductor of the orchestra and the violin player. There is not enough time for the Doctor to do their own work and manage the staff. Effective management consists of three steps: quantify, delegate, verify. With a reliance on an endless number of reports that there is never enough time to even look at, there is no possible way to complete all three management steps for every task that is critical to the patient experience.
Without completing these three steps of quantify, delegate, and verify, Chiropractors cannot complete the most important step – analysis of the results and improvement of their process. When the patient care experience is not improved and modified over time, Chiropractors are unable to take their business to the next level. They are stuck guessing about what does and doesn’t work without any real data to back up their decisions. They manage their business like treating symptoms, putting out fires but never getting to the cause of the problem. Their process never becomes systematic and scalable. Instead, it depends wholly on their own energy to drive its growth and sustainability.
If that approach isn’t good enough for Big Business, why should it be good enough for us as Chiropractors. We have a duty not only to ourselves, to make our practice successful, but also to our patients, to give them the best patient experience possible. To do this, Chiropractors must use the same technology and software methodologies employed by companies like Amazon and Zappos. We have to start leveling the playing field and apply the principles of Big Data in our own practices. Patient experience has to become the call to action in Chiropractic that customer experience is in Big Business. And, it has to happen now.
When we add in Chiropractic software and billing at the enterprise level of technology used by Big Business, the results are a predictable patient experience, increased patient loyalty, scalable operations, increased patient retention, improved patient compliance, more revenue per visit, , more patient referrals, decreased management time, and increased staff efficiency.