Course Highlights

This customer service course for hospitals, medical centers, and long-term care facilities will:

  • Explain how service in healthcare differs from service in other industries.
  • Define the importance of being present, polite, proactive, and positive.
  • Suggest a model (PRESENT) for connecting with patients and other customers.
  • Offer language for communicating with empathy.
  • Provide a framework (PATIENT) for handling upset, confused, and scared patients.
  • Outline strategies for managing stress.

Course Overview

Regardless of what happens with the government, the pressure healthcare providers experience isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. This course focuses on the people skills people working in healthcare must master in order to earn top patient satisfaction scores. The program addresses service challenges specific to healthcare environments. It is taught in a highly interactive format and is designed to keep those who rarely sit behind a desk engaged throughout the workshop.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate healthcare customer service from other types of service interactions.
  • Describe how patient satisfaction scores are linked to customer service.
  • Outline “everything speaks” and explain the ten elements that influence how patients evaluate the service experience.
  • Be present with patients and other customers by following the PRESENT model.
  • Demonstrate empathy.
  • Rephrase blunt communication.
  • Explain the difference between on-stage and off-stage behavior.
  • Reduce uncertainty and patient anxiety by keeping them informed.
  • Communicate bad news with empathy, transparency, assurance, and support.
  • Deliver a “no message” professionally.
  • Apply the PATIENT framework to de-escalate difficult situations.
  • Identify strategies to manage job stress.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Be Patient: Why Healthcare Customer Service Is Different

If given a choice, most people who visit a doctor or other healthcare provider would prefer to be somewhere else. Many don’t feel well, some are irreversibly ill, some are concerned about finances, and some are watching their loved ones suffer. This opening discussion looks at the service challenges specific to healthcare and the expectations patients and their family members have of their healthcare providers.

Be Present: Giving Customers Undivided Attention

In an ever distracted world, nothing says “you matter, and I am here to help” like giving someone undivided attention. In this part of the workshop, we will talk about what undivided attention looks and sounds like in various roles. Through a series of exercises, participants will practice techniques for removing distractions, building rapport, showing empathy, and putting patients and their families at ease.

Be Polite: Exhibiting Common Courtesy

No matter the situation and regardless of whether patients or their families have earned it, great service providers show respect to everyone. This workshop segment explores the ins and outs of courtesy and the concept of on-stage and off-stage behavior. During this part of the course, participants should form a clear idea of what’s appropriate for work and what behaviors are better left to personal time.

Be Proactive: Letting People Know What’s Next and More

Keeping people informed and correcting problems are two cornerstones of proactive behavior. This section of the seminar explores the anxiety people feel when they are left in the dark and the annoyance they experience when obvious problems are ignored. Whether it’s being informed about wait times, knowing where to go to find a lab, or understanding an upcoming procedure, patients and their families experience considerably less stress when they know what to expect. They also feel more comfortable when they see providers correcting such obvious problems as an overflowing wastebasket, a disorderly waiting room, or a loud conversation between employees. By the conclusion of this discussion, participants should understand the importance of being proactive and what that looks like back on the job.

Be Positive: Handling Difficult Situations and Challenging People

Healthcare settings can be fast-paced, congested, troubling, and stressful to patients and employees alike. In this part of the course, we will look at difficult situations and solutions for deescalating tense situations, calming upset people, and moving toward manageable solutions.

Be Pressure Tolerant: Managing Stress

Whether it’s handling extra work, interacting with a difficult patient, or training a coworker when there isn’t much time, stress happens on the job. Successful people experience no less stress than anyone else. The difference is they know what to do with it. This final part of the course explores physical and mental techniques for staying fresh and professional, even when the surroundings are chaotic. 

At this healthcare customer service training workshop’s conclusion, participants should understand the fundamentals of great service in a medical environment, the difference between on-stage and off-stage behavior, the importance of being patient, present, polite, proactive, positive, and able to manage pressure on the job.