Nunnery Orthotic and Prosthetic Technologies Gathers FeedbackNunnery Orthotic and Prosthetic Technologies, North Kingstown, RI
Written with Mike Nunnery, CEO
|Identifying gaps in performance by process; billing, patient care, administration, and customer service|
The nature of my profession is very intimate - working one-on-one with patients, sometimes through very difficult times. While patients will tell me a lot of things, they won't always speak up when it comes to my business. I could be thinking I'm doing a great job, but a patient might be thinking something entirely different. People often don't want to cause conflict, so they'll hold issues in and stew on them. If the issue isn't resolved, I'll continue to do whatever I'm doing, and eventually that patient may leave. And I'll never know why.
This surveying system is a valuable tool because it allows our patients to voice their opinions easily and anonymously, enabling us to address problems immediately. We can spot patterns and identify issues that we might not necessarily notice with everything that's going on in the practice. The way the surveys are structured also helps us home in on key areas, such as admin, billing, customer service, patient care, even my "bedside manner".
Just as importantly, the survey also tells us when things are going right. There are a lot of positive things that came out of the survey, and while there was the occasional admin or paperwork issue, in general, our patients are satisfied. That is important to know as well.
This kind of exercise must be done on an ongoing basis - our customers change, our procedures change, technology changes. For instance, we will soon start using a new CAD/CAM system that should improve our turn-around time and allow for better patient record-keeping. This is a significant investment, and we will want to know how this new system affects our customers' satisfaction levels.
About 12 years ago, we did a paper survey of our customers. I hated it. Just a couple of surveys were returned each month. It was difficult to manage. It was a terrible waste of paper. People don't want to write and mail these things, and I don't have time to manage the process. Email is a much better medium.