Not enough has been written about the health care “user experience.” More is about to come.
Yesterday I went to the dermatologist for a routine annual screening. When I called to make the appointment, I said I didn’t want to wait, and I’d be glad to be the first appointment in the morning. They literally didn’t have an early apppointment for six months, but they offered me the first appointment after lunch, only a two-month wait. I accepted.
I waited 55 minutes in the outer office (what if I didn’t have a wireless EVDO card?) before being called in to spend five minutes with a Physician Assistant (otherwise known as a physician extender) who glanced quickly over my body and told me I was fine.
But I wasn’t fine; I was furious. In a minor way, of course, because I know it’s not the same as being kept waiting in the emergency room for five hours when you are having a strokee, which also happens every day. But still, I would have liked to wait a bit less, and/or spend a bit more time with the doctor, especially because I have lived in Arizona long enough to have skin cancer.
In the past, I would have been helpless. But now I will just turn around and write a review on Yelp. The Phoenix marketing person for Yelp spoke at Gangplank Academy today, and I just happened to be there. She reminded me that doctors are now being rated by Yelp, so I took the liberty to write up my experience.
In her talk, she said health care providers are trying to sue Yelp users for writing negative reviews. This makes me ROFL. Shouldn’t it be we, the customers, suing the providers for the lousy service? In no other industry is the “customer experience” so ill-considered as in health care (with the exception of plastic surgeons and medspas).
But fellow customers, our time is coming. Can you say “effectiveness studies”? “Pay for performance”?