Monday, July 29, 2013

Coordinate Client Care with Other Providers

Why would your customers, clients, or patients go to another provider when you’re available to serve them? Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital diagnosed this issue as it applied to pediatric care. Why would parents who had an ongoing relationship with a pediatrician take their children to a medical clinic located in a retail store? The researchers surveyed about 1,500 parents who used one or more of nineteen pediatric practices. Of these, about one out of four had also used a retail clinic (RC).
  • The most common reason given was the parent’s impression that the RC had more convenient hours. This was true in almost 40% of the cases. Notably, almost half the visits were during hours the regular pediatrician’s office was probably open. 
  • For about 25%, the reason for using the RC was that no office appointment was available soon enough to satisfy the parent. 
  • Other reasons for using the services of the RC included a hesitation to bother the regular pediatrician after hours because the problem wasn’t serious enough. 
     Are retail clinics attempting to handle medical problems which need specialist care? The evidence so far is that they are not. Research indicates that, as a rule, RCs honor their limitations, with pride in what they do well and with knowledge of how to refer clients for problems best resolved elsewhere.
     But do they follow through on the referrals and otherwise coordinate care with the patient’s other providers? In the St. Louis researcher’s questionnaire sample, only about one out of fourteen of the parents said they recalled the RC indicating the regular pediatrician would be informed of the RC visit. If the parents were recalling this correctly, the RCs were not serving the clientele well enough. Regardless of your retail endeavor, you’ve a responsibility to provide coordinated care.
     This is true for ethical—and perhaps legal—reasons. It’s also true for business reasons. From the perspective of the RCs, reminding the pediatric clinics of your existence could lead to additional referrals. The pediatricians might like to be able to take time off in the care of their ongoing patients. From the business perspective of the pediatricians, hearing from the RCs could generate ideas about how to be more convenient to the current patient load and thereby attract new patients.
     Parallel advantages hold for other types of retailers who discuss clients they share.

Click below for more: 
Honor Your Limitations 
Mobilize Collective Efficacy for Health 
Learn From & Coach Other Businesses

No comments:

Post a Comment