Mystery shopping is a useful tool in determining the level of customer service patients are receiving from their medical care providers. Going to see ones primary care physician or any other doctor is not necessarily something people looking forward to and it takes a great deal of time to boot.
Oftentimes, the problems can be issues like sour to downright rude office staff, long wait times, crowded waiting rooms, even longer wait times once the patient is in the exam room, and cold hands instead of gentle and caring ones. Surprisingly, there can be a disconnect when it comes to having the patient disclose why he or she will not be coming back to that doctor or recommending that doctor to a friend.
Mystery shopping can give the owners of a medical practice or doctor's office a patient's eye view as to how they are treated and what exactly goes on once they arrive at the office. Using a variety of different technologies available to mystery shopping personnel, clients can see the visit through video equipment, or hear what happens through an audio recording – both of which can easily be hidden in the mystery shopper's clothes or on a bag that the mystery shopper Is carrying.
Mystery shopping is done when a shopper makes an appointment as a new patient, and she records the experience to review in depth later, whether it is by video, audio, or just by memorization alone. The shopper will create a detailed report about her experience after the mystery shopping visit has been completed. Medical mystery shopping professionals have special training, however – they know that when a real patient comes in with a medical emergency, to remove them from the situation and allow the real patient to be seen and taken care of.
Some of the items that the medical mystery shopper may take note of include:
First impressions of the front desk – cleanliness (when visiting), friendship of staff, ease of scheduling an appointment, and how well the staff handled the phone call. How effective check-in procedures were. How clean the office was. The bedside manner of the doctor. How effective and efficient the nurses were during the visit. Amount of time they spend with the doctor. Doctors and other medical practitioners are in positions of care with their patients, and if a patient feels that they are not being cared for, they will leave, without a word of why. When patients leave, the practice begins to lose money, and could close down. Mystery shopping will help identify the problem areas, so staff can work to improve them and keep patients satisfaction high.
Mystery shopping can help to give everyone a good idea as to what exactly goes on between the practitioner and his patients. Mystery shopping can give a doctor a feeling of being in the patients' shoes, and better understand their experience.