6 Tips to Successfully Deal with Impatient Requesters
Even when you are proactive in caring for your patients’ needs, it’s a natural occurrence that there will be times when you must deal with impatient patients. When people are sick and stressed, they aren’t always at their best – which means that you need to be proactive in mitigating patient frustration.
Identifying the need to provide exceptional patient support is the first step in succeeding. Having a set strategy in place and a proper team ensures that your patients will be happy and heard. Although there are hundreds of articles written on customer service, we have narrowed down the list of options and provided six tips on how we handle patient needs our healthcare partners.
Poor communication is one factor that often increases the frustration of everyone involved. Not only do you need to be proactive with communication, but it is essential to be honest whenever interacting with a patient or requester. Be deliberate in talking to the person about the estimated deadline or timeline. Furthermore, providing progress updates regarding the status or delivery of their records is equally vital.
2. Manage Expectations
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. In most cases, you don’t know the exact amount of time it will take to deliver records. There are many factors that affect the turnaround time, so it’s best to avoid a promised delivery date.
3. Compassion & Empathy
When dealing with a patient who is frustrated or upset, compassion and empathy are the most important traits you can bring to the conversation. Sharing empathy and care helps to diffuse many heated situations. Look for ways you can de-escalate a difficult conversation through courtesy and kindness. If there is a delay or inconvenience, apologize, and be diligent in correcting the situation as quickly as possible.
Notify the individual that the information available, and share the specific steps that need to be followed so they can access the information or documents. Individuals vary in how they adopt and comprehend linear processes. The more specific and detailed you can be, the more likely people will initially understand it.
5. Result Driven
Requesters need information and time estimates for claims and care/treatment plans, which is why it is crucial to avoid delays. Ensure that each requester understands the next steps and the timeline for completion (if known).
While you can’t control your patients’ response, you can set the tone by maintaining a positive, solution-based attitude at all times. Exude positivity in each interaction with a patient or requester. This simple, but impactful tactic, is essential to people feeling happy about the quality of care they receive.
At RecordQuest, we deal with stressed patients and concerned customers every day. By following the tips above and having a passion for serving the healthcare industry, we have created and maintained a highly-respected (and loved) customer service reputation.