JUL-AUG 2018

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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Page 42 of 68

© GETTY IMAGES 40 JULY/AUGUST 2018 | Med Esthetics Having a patient-centric practice should be a given. After all, without patients you wouldn't have a business. But if you do not communicate your commitment to patient care and customer service to all staff mem- bers and provide the training and tools to help them deliver a stellar experience, you may be falling short. Read on to learn more about how you can create a culture that puts the patient front and center. Train and Equip Your Staff SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts, has become one of the largest and most respected medi- cal aesthetic practices in the country. To help maintain its desired level of care and service, even as it adds new providers and patients, the practice adopted a purpose statement that exemplifi es its standards: "SkinCare Physicians CARES." "C" for confi dence, "A" for accuracy, "R" for respect, "E" for empathy and "S" for safety. "Everyone, from our president, Kenneth Arndt, MD, and the physician group to the front desk and back offi ce staff, believes that their goal every day is to foster a culture of caring by creating an offi ce environment where employees and patients are cared for," says Beth Hartigan, senior director of operations and aesthetics at SkinCare Physicians. The practice employs three full-time nurses to handle patient questions ex- clusively and provides annual staff training that includes scripting tips to help employ- ees convey accurate information in a caring and friendly manner. The Kovak Cosmetic Center in Rockford, Il- linois, provides its staff with tools to help them provide great service. "We've invested heavily in technology. We give our staff the tools—for scheduling and automatic reminders, for example—that make their jobs easier while improving pa- tient care and communication," says practice manager John Kovak, who oversees practice operations for his brother, Stanley Kovak, MD. The practice also invests in outside consultants to train its staff and conducts biweekly internal training emphasizing customer service and education. "We make people feel welcome and give clients time to make decisions," says Kovak. "From the time the doctor fi rst talks to a patient, it could take nine months to a year before the individual returns to book a surgery. No one wants to be rushed." Karen Zupko, president of Chicago-based consultancy Karen Zupko and Associates, recommends holding a "morning huddle" with your staff each day to review the day's patients. Points to address include: • Is this a new patient or a past patient with a new issue? • Who referred the patient? • Are there any special VIPs? • Are there likely snafus or bottlenecks in the day's schedule? • Are all patients confi rmed? • Have they all paid? Get the Right People on Board Practices can get a head start by paying attention to a can- didate's attitude and character during the hiring process, then training the candidate in not only the skills needed but the practice culture as well. "The interview and vetting process should be thorough to cull the best candidates who will buy-in to the practice culture and enforce it so patients reap the benefi ts of attention, education and care," says Zupko. Having applicants interview with multiple staff members can help you identify the candidates who will be the best fi t for your practice. To determine an applicants' aptitude for customer service and care, ask questions such as: • What does great patient care mean to you? • Describe a time when you had to deal with an un- happy patient or customer. How did you handle it? • Describe a time you had to disappoint a customer or client. How did you deliver the news? Facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon William H. Truswell, MD, has been in practice for 42 years. His prac- tice and staff are supported by his wife, Lynn, the practice manager, and two nurses, who have been with him for more than 20 years. He encourages practice owners not to give in if a candidate or new hire is not the right fi t. "We are a close-knit team and we are all devoted to the prac- tice," he says. "When a candidate or new employee comes in, they either fi t in noticeably right away, or it's 'thanks for dropping by' and we let them go." SkinCare Physicians looks for candidates who are friend- ly, smart and versed in providing great service and care, and they don't have to have a medical background. "These are our top employment requirements and patients and visitors feel it and comment on it," says Chris Foley, chief operating offi cer. THE PATIENT-CENTRIC PRACTICE

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