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Are your Patients Paying Too Much?

No. It’s free at the point of service, right? Yes, but there’s a price to pay. In general practice where services are delivered without charge, it’s not measured in pounds. Instead, the real cost to patient is in terms of time, inconvenience and stress.


Doctors hands consoling patient

A visit to the surgery is seldom enjoyed and can be likened to a ‘grudge purchase’. The cost to the patient is easily increased in a variety of ways; late-running appointments, inconvenient surgery times, difficult parking, complicated appointment systems, chasing results, reports and prescriptions.


We probably rarely think about the cost to the patient but we all want patients to be satisfied. That satisfaction is felt by the patient if the perceived value is greater than the perceived cost.


When expectations are rising and practices are struggling to cope, the levels of patient satisfaction easily fall as patients feel the cost they’ve incurred is too high, making complaints more likely.


It’s worth looking at what can be improved to reduce the cost to the patient; often little things can make the biggest difference. Improve communication, ‘catch up’ gaps to avoid running late, and telephone and online access can all help.


Reduce the cost to the patient and you can reduce your complaints.


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