Customer Service

Developing and nurturing patient expectations requires a thorough understanding of the patients’ expectations and perceived value of their care during the healthcare customer service experience.

“Patients expect the staff to show they care about them during every interaction.”

Patients are developing their opinion from the moment they walk in the door. We want to ensure that we make that first impression a good one. Happy patients return – and refer others. Great customer service can help you create a loyal patient. A happy, satisfied patient is more likely to come back – and even refer people to our facility. If a patient gets a less than warm feeling, they are likely to search out the next option because they assume that’s a reflection of the care they will receive. However, if they encounter pleasant service, they will more likely return. The reputation that you develop will be vital in determining whether patients seek you out in the future.

Customer Service Standards

We will follow the below customer service standards:

We will be courteous, respectful and have empathy
  • We will always make sure patients are treated with courtesy and respect.
  • We will listen effectively to our patients requests and promptly take the necessary actions to assist them. We will keep our patients informed of unexpected delays in service.
  • We will greet our customers in a courteous and professional manner.
  • When patients enter our facility, we will greet them immediately with a pleasant smile
  • We will make eye contact and acknowledge them immediately
  • We will make our patients are our priority
  • We will help our patients understand what’s going on and walk them through any procedures or medical terminology they may not understand. We won’t lose sight of what comes first: caring for people.
We will be professional and use appropriate language

  • We will hold ourselves and each other accountable for addressing inappropriate comments and behaviour.
  • We will use appropriate language and will be courteous even in difficult situations, not indifferent or combative.
  • We will actively listen.
  • We will be conscious of our communication style (i.e. audible voice, eye contact when speaking to someone, tone of voice) and always communicate in a professional manner without the use of slang
  • We will be clear and concise in our communication without using jargon.
  • We will make a conscious effort to compliment co-workers when their actions comply with these standards
We will meet timelines
  • We will ensure that all of our interactions with patients are done so in a timely manner
  • We will schedule appointments that minimise wait times
  • We will ensure patients understand appointment timelines and provide updates in a timely manner should any unexpected delays arise.
  • We will follow up and follow through. If we make a commitment to call a patient back, we will.
We will uphold privacy and confidentiality
  • We will comply with relevant legislation and regulations in relation to privacy and confidentiality of our patients.
  • We will ensure that patients details are not discussed where a breach of privacy and confidentiality may occur.
  • We provide patients with access to our privacy policy and ensure it is freely available to review.
  • We will undertake an identity check prior to releasing any information about patient’s private information.
We will be courageous in admitting our mistakes and find ways to do better
  • We will follow up and follow through. We will seek feedback and address any diagnosed issues that may arise.
  • We value poor feedback and use this as a tool to remedy problems that we didn’t know were there.
  • We will use feedback as a tool to discover inefficiencies in our staff training and to refine our processes. Once identified, we will use this as an opportunity to provide adequate training for staff who may need it.

EDUCATION HUB

Commence the MAT Health Clinic Customer Service Training by clicking on the button below

What do patients expect from healthcare customer service experiences?

Developing and nurturing patient expectations requires a thorough understanding of the patients’ expectations and perceived value of their care during the healthcare customer service experience.

Expectations can include:

  • Quality medical care
  • Comfortable and safe atmosphere
  • Caring, empathetic, attentive and friendly staff
  • Efficient and streamlined processes
  • Accurate and complete information
  • Professionalism and confidence
  • Transparency on costs involved
Customer Service Roles and Responsibilities

Receptionist

  • Greet visitors as soon as they enter, determine their needs and direct them to the relevant area of the practice
  • Collect information from patients, including verifying the identity of patients and updating where necessary
  • Answer the telephone and redirect calls to the appropriate staff member, and respond to voicemails in a timely manner
  • Scheduling appointments and keep those appointments on time
  • Communicate with patients and staff in a non-discriminatory, supportive, and inclusive manner.

Practice Manager

  • Clarify the core service values to be adopted by staff and communicate those values to staff
  • Modelling those values to ensure staff will embrace those values
  • Provide training and development programs and plans to enhance the service level and equip staff with tools and techniques for serving customers better
  • Implement quality management strategies to review service quality
  • Define the attitudes and behaviour expected of those dealing with patients
  • Recognise and reward high levels of customer service achieved by individuals and teams
Dealing with common patient requests

Test Results:
For good quality care, all patients are required to make an appointment to see a Doctor for all results. To ensure strict patient confidentiality and compliance with the National Privacy Act is maintained, pathology and radiology results will not be given over the telephone by our reception and nursing staff.

Nursing Services:
Nursing assistance is available as coordinated by your doctor. There is a team of nurses who help provide health assessments, immunisations, wound care and
chronic disease management.

Repeat Prescriptions:
If you are on a prescribed medication, it is important that you are reviewed regularly, therefore an appointment will be necessary. Please ensure that an appointment is made with your regular doctor prior to your medication
running out.

Vaccines:
If you have a vaccine with you, please hand it to reception staff on your arrival for refrigeration. Vaccines should be carried in a cold pack from the purchase point
and kept cool.

Patient Feedback:
If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with an aspect of the care you have received at this practice, we want to know about it. We take your concerns, suggestions and
complaints seriously. Please write or speak to the Practice Manager to discuss your concerns. Grievances will be dealt with promptly and if
you still feel unhappy with the resolution you may contact: Office of the Health Ombudsman


Finding out more about human rights

What are human rights?

Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe. View Fact Sheet here

Healthcare rights ensure all patients and carers in Australia receive safe, high-quality care in partnership with healthcare providers. This article explains your rights and what to do if you feel they have been denied.

Australians’ healthcare rights are set out in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. These rights apply to any healthcare you receive, anywhere in Australia, including in public hospitals, private hospitals, general practice and in the community.

The 7 basic healthcare rights are listed below:

  • Access: You have a right to healthcare services and treatment that meet your needs.
  • Safety: You have a right to receive safe and high-quality healthcare that meets national standards, and to be cared for in an environment that is safe and makes you feel safe.
  • Respect: You have a right to be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect. Your culture, identity, beliefs and choices must be recognised and respected.
  • Partnership: You have a right to ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication. You can make decisions with your healthcare provider, to the extent that you choose and are able to, and you may include the people that you want in planning and decision-making.
  • Information: You have a right to receive clear information about your condition, as well as the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments, so you can give your informed consent. You can receive information about services, waiting times and costs, and be given assistance, when you need it, to help you understand and use that health information. You also have the right to access your health information. You must be told if something has gone wrong during your healthcare, including how it happened, how it may affect you and what is being done to make your care safe.
  • Privacy: You have a right to have your personal privacy respected — information about you and your health must be kept secure and confidential.
  • Give feedback: You have a right to provide feedback or make a complaint without it affecting the way that you are treated. Your concerns should be addressed in a transparent and timely way, and you have the right to share your experience and to participate in the improvement of the quality of care and health services.
Diversity & Inclusion

Good medical practice requires genuine efforts to understand the cultural needs and contexts of patients to obtain good health outcomes. Culturally safe and respectful practice includes:

  • Understanding that clinicians own cultural beliefs influence interactions with patients and ensuring this does not negatively impact on clinical decision making
  • Acknowledgement of social, economic, cultural, historic and behavioural factors influencing health at the individual, community and population levels
  • Having knowledge of, respect for and sensitivity towards the cultural needs of the community being served and adapting practice to improve engagement with patients
  • Adopting practices that respect diversity, avoid bias, discrimination and racism and challenge beliefs based on assumptions
  • Supporting an inclusive environment for the safety and security of individuals and their families
  • Creating a positive, culturally safe work environment through role modelling and supporting the rights and dignity of others.
Be Aware of Impact of Culture

For example, if someone avoids eye contact with you when speaking, perhaps that’s the impact of culture – not that they are rude, shy or uninterested. Acknowledge it, understand it, and ask about it. You will need to learn and adjust to each other to ensure communication is effective and appropriate.

You are communicating with individuals

Beware of assumptions. Culture gives useful clues but don’t assume all people from a certain cultural background share the same beliefs and ways of behaving. People are individuals and need to be treated as such. Start a conversation and find out what the person values and believes.

All cultures are equal

The culture you were raised in is probably the one you feel most comfortable with – you understand the ‘rules’. This does not mean it’s ‘the best’ or ‘the only’ way people should behave. A ‘different’ culture does not mean a ‘lesser’ one.

Speak clearly and concisely

Speaking clearly doesn’t mean speaking slowly (which can seem patronising). Use your natural pace but sound words out properly. Also, break down information into manageable chunks and, if required, use supplementary nonverbal information such as maps and drawings.

Check for understanding

If you’re having difficulty understanding a message, ask the person to repeat or clarify it. Similarly, if you don’t think your message has been understood, check for understanding.

Be aware of non-verbal communication

Up to two-thirds of the meaning of a message can come from non-verbal communication such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, tone of voice, etc. Always be sensitive to non-verbal communication and how it’s interpreted by other cultures.

Complaints and Triage

We value feedback both positive and negative and use this as a tool to improve our service.

You will find the MAT Health Clinic Complaints Policy here

You will find the MAT Health Clinic Complaints Triage Instructions here

Telephone Techniques

Resources