Every medical practice at times has an interaction with an unhappy patient. The key to maintaining a positive relationship with the patient is to ensure the patient’s complaint is properly and fully addressed. To do so, the following steps are recommended:
First, obtain all necessary information to assess the situation. Take time to listen to the patient and be objective.
Second, approach all parties involved to learn and understand every perspective.
Third, once all pertinent information has been gathered, analyze and take action. If the complaint filed by the patient demonstrates a failure to follow proper procedures, establish a formal protocol to ensure the same does not happen in the future. Once established, circulate the protocol within the office and to third parties as necessary and implement the training necessary to effect the change.
Fourth, follow up with the patient, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, to candidly relay the finding and solution. With a little bit of compassion and an honest attempt to correct the situation, the patient inquiry can most always be resolved.