Many clinics gather patient feedback. The intention is good; making persistent problems visible is the first step in addressing what’s not working. For patients, however, these surveys take time to fill out and rarely pay off with clear changes that meet concerns.
For a clinic staff, it’s one thing to see a score on a piece of paper or quarterly report, but it’s entirely different to hear the exasperation in a patient’s voice after being stuck in the waiting room for two hours. Clinics could gather timely, honest feedback by calling patients the day after their appointment to check in.
A phone check in would ensure that the patient’s voice is heard, but it wouldn’t necessarily compel the clinic to act. When all the calls are made by a single person, the route from feedback to approval to action becomes more indirect. By involving everyone on staff in the post-visit call initiative, patients would get to know the staff better, and, if all goes well, the staff would become more effective patient advocates both in and outside the clinic.