Four Rules to Service
By Jason C. Theadore, MHA, CRA, RT(R)
Outpatient imaging facilities must recognize that the traditional model of delivering service may be inadequate. The brief
outpatient radiology encounter allows for
several constraints that make meeting individual needs difficult. We continue to
have the debate that medical imaging is a
medical specialty or commodity. A commodity is a good (diagnostic imaging)
for which there is demand. The good is
supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. The market treats it
as equivalent or nearly so no matter who
produces it—it is considered the same.
Radiologists and radiology administrators must be successful in meeting customer requirements as imaging will become a commodity if we are unable to
meet the customers’ needs.
Meeting customer needs starts with
front line staff and ends with our radiologists. Following are four simple rules
to be sure your service does not become
Radiologists and radiology administrators must be successful
in meeting customer requirements as imaging will become a
commodity if we are unable to meet the customers’ needs.
a combination of technology, processes,
and people. Any time a part of an organization’s existence becomes weak, it can
fail. How can you be sure that operational issues are invisible to your customer?
Rule #2: Every Patient Is Your
difficult. Can you explain to a deaf person what it is like to hear? Words cannot
always connect your reality to someone
else’s reality as your reality is your own
and your customers’ reality is their own.
How can you personalize service to every
customer to maintain the level of satisfaction that they require?
Make every patient feel like they are your
only priority. When you are dealing with
a referring physician office, an insurance
company, or patient records you are
serving your patient. When a radiologist
is reading a case, understand that they
are actually with a patient. Maintaining
focus and completing tasks without interruption helps improve accuracy. As
a radiology administrator, the decisions
you make every day impact every patient.
Providing the right resources at the right
time in the right place allows a patient to
feel like your only patient.
Rule #4: The Golden Rule
Rule #1: Operational Issues Are Not
the Customer’s Problem
Treat your customers, employees, physicians, and suppliers like you want to be
treated. Care for every patient like they
are part of your family. Do whatever it
takes to keep them in high spirits, comfortable, and well. A first impression is
important. A lasting impression makes
your customers want to come back.
Nearly all outpatient imaging facilities
face the same problems. Any business
may have disgruntled employees or productivity measures that may not allow
adequate staffing. The problems should
be seen as operational challenges, not an
excuse for service. Physician or technical staffing issues are not the issue of the
customer. An organization exists to fulfill a mission and vision created through
Rule #3: Customer Satisfaction Is
Based on Customer Perception
The sky is blue, right? Now, can you
describe or explain what blue is? Sure
you can get into an entire discussion
about light scattering, but that becomes
Hospitals weighing the benefits of a busy
and pleased cardiologist, neurologist,
oncologist, or surgeon against the hap-
piness of the radiologists will result in
the radiologists drawing the short straw.
Radiologists are seen as contracted phy-
sicians who do not refer patients. As
an outpatient imaging center, it is very
important to collaborate with your