“Their Emergency Room scores for patient satisfaction was rated one of the best of hospitals across the country. And yet if they focused on controlling quality, they might be undermining patient trust and respect.”
“How is that,” I ask? My conversations are with Todd, a medical resident who recently returned from a rotation of various departments in this distant and admired hospital.
“When an 8 year old comes into the ER, his diagnosis might immediately indicate administering an anti-inflammatory like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Normally we doctors, who get our value from knowing all the answers might prescribe and be done with it. In fact giving one of these two pain killers is so basic that even the nurses are approved to give them without consulting a physician. But that is where our profession is missing the boat.”
“Instead of making that decision, our education and commitment to quality is missing an opportunity to develop our bedside manner . . . to let the parents have some ”say so”.”
My mind jumps ahead to, “but isn”t one of those drugs preferred over the other?”
“Maybe to someone under the age of 6. But for those older, they are almost a match. So why not let the parents be involved. Why not ask them if they have an opinion? Why not dialog and have a conversation instead of dictating what quality is?”
It could be argued that time (especially when the child”s pain is involved) should not be sacrificed to build a little relationship with the “patient”. Quit wasting time.
But the medical world is discovering the clinically correct doctor without the bedside manner, will get sued a lot more than those who take the time to connect. Malpractice costs money, a lot of it. Save money, build a patient/customer relationship.
So which is more valuable? The quality of the product or the quality of the customer relationship? The offering”s quality is an expected. If the competitions warranty is 12 months and yours is 4 months then it is an apples and oranges thing. But if your quality of offering is equal, then the customer will be drawn to the organization who is more charismatic . . . who has the better bedside manner.
In fact there are times when business charisma can be so powerful that people will flock to it in spite of poor quality. Harley-Davidson constantly ranks highest in surveys for customer satisfaction and yet consistently ranks at the lowest for actual quality of product.
This would agree with our research that shows when customers rank a business”s bedside manner (their charisma) quality ranked #6 in importance behind other considerations like creativity and the overall experience.
The currency of business is time. The days of micromanaging every aspect of the business has organizations that look and feel as efficient as a Swiss watch. “Watch the clock”, or “Measure output and results” have been the battle cry. Lean on Six Sigma to predict the outcome for the customer. Efficient but boring.
It might take just a little more time to develop the customer relationship, but the results overshadow the benefits of quality, big time. Warmth, presence, and personality wins.
Why? We still favor our doctor, our hairdresser, our lawyer because they know their stuff (quality), but more importantly . . . they get us.
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