The backstory to this Tuesday Tip is that I’ve just spent too much of my time trying to get the pre-authorisation done for my son’s surgery this Friday. (It’s a minor surgery – the standard ‘tonsils removal’ so nothing too stressful but still something that I’d rather not have to go through!)
The authorisation process seemed like a simple one:
- Get the authorsation number from our medical aid and then
- Do the pre-admission for hospital online.
Dealing with the medical aid was relatively easy.
Unfortunately, doing the online pre-admission for the hospital – a time waster.
- I really battled to find the pre-admission form on their website
- The form didn’t make sense to me – they were asking for codes and I had to phone them to double check I had the right codes.
- I got told that I had phoned the wrong number internally when all I was doing was using the information that was on their website.
- After submitting the form I got a notice that they would be in touch. No time frame, just a ‘we’ll be in touch’
- I’ve just phoned them now to follow up as I haven’t heard back from them after 24 hours.
- To be told I should hear from them tomorrow sometime…. A day before the admission. I’m not an A type personality, but not having confirmation that all is in order does unsettle me slightly.
Bear with me – this isn’t a whine…
I just wonder how many of us begin to embrace what needs to be done to thrive in the Future of Work, but then end up missing the point completely.
In other words – this hospital did start to get it right – being able to do the pre-admission online is a great feature… But it’s only a great feature if they get it right.
Have they considering why having an online option would be attractive to so many patients… and are they getting this right? For example – doing this online I don’t want to have to phone the hospital twice to check that the online version has worked.
Two things that the team at TomorrowToday consider important for succeeding in the Future of Work are 1) Simplicity and 2) Offering something in ‘real-time’
Here are some simple changes that, in my opinion, would have made my experience that much better.
- Put a big button on their website’s home page that says ‘Pre-admissions here’.
- Making the form slightly easier to fill out – ie giving me slightly more detail of what they were needing from me.
- Even better – have an online chat facility available for immediate contact. (Much better than having to phone in, wait to be transferred, transferred back to reception and then finally getting through to the admissions department).
- Once the form had been submitted to let me know when to expect contact back from them.
- Even better – use technology to check the data submitted and provide me with my pre-auth reference number instantly
Your action items
- When last were you a customer to your own services? Would you be happy with the experience? Did all the processes make sense?
- When last did you ask how the customer experience could be improved?
- Are you using the technology that is available. I’m not talking the Dr Watson of hospitals, I’m talking about a simple online chat widget that could be added to your website. There are enough free versions out there. That’s just a simple example.
It’s been a good reminder for me to go and see how we can improve our experience that our clients and visitors have when they engage with us – be it on our website or having our team of presenters are at your event.
We’d love to hear your feedback on how we could improve your experience with TomorrowToday. Do drop us an email if you’ve got any suggestions.
the hospital does not have enough professional people on that field, that’s why they do not have that service
That probably is the case Sheila, but it’s not a good enough excuse if the hospital wishes to succeed in the future. It’s a brand new, private hospital who I’m sure want to continue offering their services for years to come. They’ve invested massively into their reception area with a grand waiting area, some lovely visitor lounges and beautiful artwork and furniture. It’s time to adapt and if that means needing to hire the correct people or skills that can successfully handle the onboarding process effectively then that’s what I’d suggest they do. There’s only so long that a luxurious waiting area is going to cut it.