An Apple is an Apple

In today's healthcare call center field, the term The Patient Experience has become loosely definable, meaning different things to different people. So, let's provide some clarity.

One component of The Patient Experience involves time management issues such as hold times, silent air time, time between transfers, talk time, wrap up time etc. While challenging, these are the more manageable components, because they are easily identifiable and then fixable in a straightforward and obvious manner.

The other part of The Patient Experience is the Customer Service (or verbal interaction) component. This is the more difficult part, because it is much more complex and by far the most challenging to manage, and it cannot be managed by scripts, checklists, or software.

Customer Service actually encompasses everything including time management issues- in truth, The Patient Experience is simply Customer Service (they mean the same thing), and time management issues are just one piece of the much larger Customer Service pie.

I go to lengths to make these distinctions because it is not uncommon for healthcare call centers to make time management issues their primary Patient Experience focus while verbal interaction issues become an afterthought, thus leaving the vast majority of what most impacts the patient largely unmanaged or ignored.

This is all the more likely to happen when the definition of The Patient (or customer) Experience is so vague, and this is why it is important the healthcare call center field comes to a consensus as to its clear definition.

We can call it a juicy round fruit if we like, but an apple is still just an apple. And we can certainly call it The Patient Experience (a loosely definable term) which is fine, but the truth is it is just Customer Service (a commonly understood term), and time management issues are only one part of the much larger healthcare call center Customer Service whole.