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Care + Career

Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

New CE Series: Why Customer Service Matters in Healthcare

When you think of customer service, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

A long line of customers waiting to return retail items? A complaint to a manager of a restaurant for a long wait? 

How about healthcare?

If healthcare doesn't quickly come to mind when you think of customer service, it will after you read our newest addition to the Continuing Education (CE) Content Library: "Why Customer Service Matters in Health Care". 

nurse-patient-talkingAt NHA, we strive to bring you the latest information you need to succeed in your healthcare career. We know that in healthcare, changes are happening fast, which is why NHA requires CE credits to maintain certification. We work with some of the industry's top experts to author CE content and provide you access to the information you need to know now.

And right now, customer service should be a top priority whether you work in a pharmacy, hospital or medical office.

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This article is authored by Davene Yankle MS-HSM, BSN, RN. Throughout her tenure as a nurse, she has gained lots of insight on patient satisfaction. In her new article — "Why Customer Service Matters in Health Care" — author Davene Yankle helps healthcare professionals gain a deeper understanding of patient satisfaction and tools to help you improve the patient experience.

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About the Article

*"Why Customer Service Matters in Health Care" is worth 2 CE Credits

Patient experience impacts more than just what patients think of us — it also impacts the amount of reimbursement providers receive. That’s why it's essential to give your patients the best experience possible. This article will discuss what patients want out of their experience, types of survey tools that can be used to measure patient experience and the importance of putting action plans in place to address any concerns.  

About the Author

IMG_0999 (002)[1]Davene Yankle MS-HSM, BSN, RN is the Manager of Clinical Services for OhioHealth Physician Group with 37+ years of experience in clinical care and education. She's worked in trauma intensive care and open heart recovery care, as well as specialty areas as a staff development instructor for critical care and skilled nursing.

Below, Yankle shares some additional details and insight about her "Why Customer Service Matters in Health Care" CE article.

What do you hope certification holders will gain from this series?

I’m hoping that readers will understand the importance of good customer service in healthcare. No amount of experience or technology can take the place of making a patient feel cared for when they are sick or suffering. Compassion and competence is the winning combination.

When most people think of good customer service, they often think of the restaurant and retail industry. What makes customer satisfaction so important in today’s healthcare environment?

With the retail and restaurant business, return customers are their lifeline and they want them to come back and tell their friends and family. One difference is, if they get a bad meal or their shoes don’t fit, they can send it back or return them for a refund. Healthcare doesn’t work that way. We need to get it right the first time and every time. With healthcare, patients want a better patient experience, where they are the center of care. However, customer service is more than being nice. Good customer service requires the consistent demonstration of competency and showing our patients we are the best at what we do. We want to take care of our patients when they are sick, when they need surgery or when they are having a baby. We want patients to feel they are getting the best care ever and always want to stay with us.

What is the most common complaint you hear from patients?

Usually it’s what a healthcare provider might think of as the “little” things, and that sometimes happens and might be beyond our control, like the appointment ran over, or too much paperwork. Sometimes we hear staff seemed overwhelmed or the doctor didn’t spend enough time with me, and that’s not good. Many patients will never see what goes on behind the scenes such as the extra training for new procedures, the planning during a huddle, or staff meetings discussing process improvement.

What are some ways allied health workers can exhibit exemplary customer service?

Exemplary customer service means being kind and compassionate, even when the patient is having a difficult time because healthcare is not always an easy road. Learn to say “I’m sorry” and mean it — it goes along way when demonstrating you care. Also understanding that as a healthcare professional, you are a lifelong learner. You exhibit exemplary customer service when you give exemplary care, know your job and are accountable to the patients you serve. Patients have placed their own or their loved one's trust in you and you owe them the best care possible. Be a patient advocate and you will always be on the right side of giving great customer service.

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We’re grateful to have experts like Yankle contributing valuable content in our CE series. We believe there’s no better source of learning than from the men and women who are actively working — and leading — the industry today.

NHA certificate holders have exclusive access to our CE library with no additional fees. To access the "Why Customer Service Matters in Health Care" article and earn two CE credits, log in to your NHA account now.

NHA CERTIFICATE HOLDERS: LOG IN TO ACCESS THE ARTICLE >>

Before completing NHA CE, we recommend checking the rules and regulations of the licensing or regulatory agency for your state, in case there are different requirements.

Topics: continuing education, patient care, customer service, Insider