Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 27 G
"Cleanliness: The New Standard"
My children are grown up and I travel extensively around the country with my wife as my business partner. As a result, we we visit a lot of doctors' offices and professional establishments. This is giving me extensive exposure to both business and professional establishments and over the last few years, I've noticed a growing trend of decoration and cleanliness.
It has been quite some time since I've commented on the decor of offices and/or their cleanliness and being in so many business and professional establishments over the last several years, I can say the standard nationally is changing for the better across the board. Previously, I have written on the importance of your staff constantly cleaning your office including vacuuming twice-daily, having a "paper pieces" police where no little tiny shards of paper is left on the floor, having the windows cleaned frequently and most importantly, making sure that inside the head rest, under the paper, there is no lint or dirt where people's faces go.
It now goes well beyond that. Recently, Yahoo posted the following on doctors' offices in general and you will notice that cleanliness is number one. I have left all of their comments beyond cleanliness for your edification:
When Looking for a New Doctor: Signs of a Good Doctor's Office
Five Signs of a Good Doctor's Office
William A. Swan, Yahoo! Contributor Network
When you are looking for a new doctor, be it because of insurance reasons or the old doctor is no longer available for whatever reason, you are probably looking at how good the doctor will be. But, the appearance of the doctor isn't the only consideration you should give when gathering first impressions. It is said that a well organized home is a sign of a good and caring person; well, the sign of a well organized doctors office is a sign of a good and caring doctor as well. Here are five signs to look for at the office when looking for a new doctor.
When looking for a new doctor, consider the cleanliness of the doctor's office a part of the overall care for the patients. When you first walk into the doctor's office, did you notice if the office was clean? Were the nurses and the doctor following sanitary practices? While at the office, you would want to see people washing their hands, disinfecting, and cleaning up as they go. Rate how neat and organized the general staff seemed to be.
Sense of Order
Is there a sense of control as you walked in? How comfortable is the waiting room? How about the exam room? Do patient files appear to be cared for? Is there enough space in the exam room for a family member to fit comfortably? A major concern in looking for a new doctor is how they consider patient care and comfort. If the waiting room is cramped, or the exam room lacks chairs for an extra person to sit, this could be a sign of a rushed doctor and staff who may not have the proper time for each patient.
When looking for a new doctor, you want to also find a staff that knows what they are doing. When you are at the office, observe the nursing staff. Do the people there seem caring and aware of what they are doing? Does it appear they could give you an actual answer if you asked them? If they couldn't answer, does it appear that they would at least look it up? Do they seem bothered by the phones or questions? Most physician's offices rely on the medical staff to relay information on what is needed when the patient comes in again. If the staff doesn't know, neither does the patient.
If there is an emergency, or medication problem, and you can't wait until next Friday's appointment, can you find your doctor or call the office? This is another issue when looking for a doctor. One of the common problems when getting an office visit as a first time patient with a physician's office, is finding out how busy the office really is. You may be given a spot on the schedule weeks away. A tip here, if the doctor is this busy, would you be sure there is enough time to visit with them? While we are at this subject, is there a cancellation policy? If so, how far in advance must you give notice? Watch the costs here. Some doctors charge a lump fee if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice.
Caring and Compassion
Last item when looking for a good doctor. Did the office staff, nurses and doctor, seem caring? Compassionate? You want to feel comfortable when you are at the office during your visit. During the initial exam, did the physician conduct the initial exam or did his assistant? Did the doctor leave during the exam? Were you a person or a name on the list? Go with your first impressions here.
When looking for a good doctor, finding a good doctor's office is equally as important. It will give you clues as to the personality, and the professionalism of the doctor.
In the food industry, it would be logical to conclude that cleanliness is critically important. However, when you look at the research, you realize how important cleanliness really is and the very last phrase based upon 18,000 survey responses sums it up with "intent to return." Here is what the research returned:
Face Facts: Cleanliness Trumps Food Quality
The game-changing research comes from Technomic, an independent consumer research firm that semi-annually surveys restaurant consumers for the Consumer Restaurant Brand Metrics Program to find out what’s most important to diners in their restaurant experiences. Most recently the survey collected 18,000 responses.
Not only is cleanliness important to restaurant guests, but Technomic also validated a connection between how consumers ranked particular restaurant chains on cleanliness and their stated “intent to return”.
In our offices we are no different. In fact, when I go around the country, I am starting to notice a standard whether it be chiropractic, physical therapy, primary care, orthopedic surgery or any other specialty. Hospitals have also realized the importance of cleanliness in every sense of the word. They have gone beyond clean floors and sanitized hands to the point where they are putting in high-end food chains, restaurants, sundry shops and entertainment areas. Each of these are decorated in often expensive decor to enhance the experience of the patients and their guests with the goal of return business.
We are no different! Therefore, if I was opening the office today, my bathrooms would be a place I would commit significant funds, my reception areas would have the feel of a very comfortable living room with my diplomas in quality frames on full display, my staff would be smartly appointed in fashionable scrubs and I would have my office cleaned daily. If my carpet was worn, it would be changed and pictures on the walls would be changed bimonthly.
Cleanliness and decor matter greatly and contribute more to your success than you can imagine. There is no shortcut or substitute towards spiraling upwards in your success and you can have the best credentials and be the best doctor. However, many patients will never come back if your office is dirty or disorganized.