If you’ve been in the medical field for a while, you’ve most likely come across quite a few difficult patients. No matter the circumstances, healthcare professionals vow to provide the best possible service in a timely manner. It’s an important priority, but sometimes, doctors become so preoccupied with doing things quickly that customer service suffers. In turn, patients wind up unhappy and dissatisfied, and they may even choose to never return to that facility again. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top patient complaints about doctors so healthcare professionals will know what type of behavior to avoid.
Top 5 Patient Complaints About Doctors
1. Waiting Too Long
Even doctors themselves can relate to the frustration of showing up for a 10:00 appointment and not being seen until 10:30. Even though this is often out of the staff’s control, it can be quite annoying for many patients. Unfortunately, for busy doctor’s offices or hospitals, there aren’t many ways to fix this. A 30-minute delay early in the morning can affect the whole rest of the day. If you are dealing with a patient who’s frustrated over their wait time, there still a few things you can do. Try to make their wait more tolerable by providing entertainment, like T.V. or magazines. Additionally, it’s beneficial to be transparent with patients. If possible, provide them with an estimated wait time and keep them in the loop.
2. Scheduling Difficulties
For patients who want to get treatment as soon as possible, scheduling is often an issue. They may be on hold for a while on the phone, or might not be able to cancel an appointment without being charged a cancellation fee. Thankfully, new software like Simple Practice makes it easy for patients to schedule, reschedule, or cancel their appointments. If your practice isn’t using a scheduling software, it may be a good idea to look into it! Easier scheduling definitely contributes toward higher patient satisfaction.
3. Feeling Like the Doctor Isn’t Listening
Another one of the common patient complaints about doctors is that they feel unheard. It’s very frustrating for patients when they feel as if their doctor isn’t listening to them. Some doctors tend to cut a patient off once they’ve heard enough information about their condition. Similarly, patients often become discouraged if they feel like they’re not engaged in their care. So, physicians should try their best to listen to their patients and not jump to conclusions regarding a diagnosis. Engage your patients in their care and treatment as much as possible.
4. Not Getting Enough Time With the Doctor
Most healthcare facilities aim to see as many patients as possible as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this can cause patients to feel as if they’re being rushed or shooed out the door. Patients want to spend as much time with the doctor as possible so they can fully learn about their condition and/or treatment. It’s very important to find a balance between operating in a timely manner and spending a sufficient amount of time with each patient.
5. Confusion With Billing and Insurance
It’s no surprise that health insurance and billing can be complicated and confusing. If a patient is confused about what they owe after receiving treatment, they may decide to not come back for another visit in the future. Even if you’re not 100 percent certain about a patient’s insurance or medical bills, try your best to offer patients a straightforward explanation. Outline your practice’s billing and insurance processes, and even consider creating a handout that patients can refer to if they’re confused.
Unfortunately, not every patient will be easy going and understanding. However, it’s crucial for all healthcare staff members to be as helpful and efficient as possible. If you are receiving complains in your facility, it doesn’t take much to fix them! With some additional training, you’ll increase your patient satisfaction and retention in no time!
Can you think of any other common patient complaints about doctors? Let us know in the comments below!