SIx Steps to Effectively Deal with Patient Problems

"Hi, welcome to today’s one-minute management tip - my name is Tina DelBuono. One thing we don’t like is when we have patient problems. Those really are upsetting to everyone in the practice because we want to do the best that we possibly can to serve our patients and to make them feel good! But, problems are going to happen. There are six steps that we can do when a problem does happen that will help to hopefully prevent it from ever happening again. 

The first one is that we need to understand the complaint. What really happened? Why is the patient unhappy or dissatisfied? We need to confirm with them that yes, we do understand what the complaint is. 

Then we need to investigate and find out why did it happen? Was it our fault? Did we drop the ball? Or was it maybe a facility that we were using - they failed to get their devices to us, or maybe they failed to get a result to us. We need to investigate.

Then we need to resolve it. What does that mean? How can we make it better with our patient? How can we let them know what happened and then be able to fix it? 

Then, we need to be able to respond to them. Letting them know that we are so sorry. That it’s never our intention to have a bad experience with a patient. 

We need to confirm that they’ve understood what happened and that they do know that we truly didn’t mean for it to happen.

Then, we need to find out how we can prevent it from happening again. That’s the biggest thing. Gather everyone up in the office, make sure everyone understands what happened and then talk about how we can prevent it from happening again.

I hope these six steps help you the next time you encounter a problem with a patient. Know that they’re going to happen, but also, when we have the ability to be able to follow through with these steps and fix them, we’re going to have less problems going forward. Thank you for joining me today - I hope you have a great day!"