Therapists live in a fast paced world where seeing more patients in a shorter period of time is a constant push. In the new healthcare economy the term “being productive” is now almost synonymous with care that is good and effective.
Therapists are often measured on how many patients they see on an hourly basis. However, there are times when being maximally productive is not beneficial.
Productivity should never be confused for good care
Productivity should never be confused for how good the care is. No matter how productive the therapists is, it should not be confused with how good the treatment experience was in the eyes of the patient. Unfortunately, many corporate therapy organizations make this mistake. Few companies understand how patient satisfaction impacts how patients feel about how long they waited and were treated.
An interesting study published in the journal Perception and Psychophysician 1997 described how emotions effect time perceptions. Patients tend to underestimate time when they are experiencing something that is positive. Conversely, time slows down when I’m experiencing something negative. Simply, if your patients are experiencing something negative time slow down and feels much longer. If they are experiencing a positive interaction with you then time flies.
Cash Practices are slowing down the patient experience
A good example of this would be a therapy treatment visit. Productivity certainly does not refer to the time spent in the waiting room filling out forms but it does fit with how many patients view the actual time with their therapist. It seems like a therapy visit now involves nothing more than a fifteen-minute conversation with the therapist before being handed off to an assistant. The cash practice model is looking to slow down the over emphasis on productivity rather than patient satisfaction.
Cash therapy practices are rapidly becoming more popular as patients and therapists seek a more rewarding experience. In the cash practice model, the patient pays up front for the care they receive. They want their money’s worth. Therapists in a cash practice are motivated to provide a rewarding experience for each and every patient. Their business livelihood depends on it.
Therapy sessions are often expanded to 45 minutes or up to 60 depending on the type of appointment. The fee paid by patients allows the therapist to slow deliver a high value service and limit the number of scheduled patients. Patients can sense when therapists are rushed and not fully present during their treatment time.
Patients are searching for memorable treatment experiences
So what does that mean for patient satisfaction? As “factory therapy providers” cram more patients into the therapists schedule it leads to greater patient dissatisfaction with the overall experience. If that happens, how much quality time people perceived they got for their money begins to deteriorate and they look for alternatives.
On the other hand, taking enough time to properly deal with a patient’s problem could lead to a more pleasant experience. And as a result, leads to higher satisfaction and as a result make the money they invested worth it. Just remember the quality of experience is more important than the time itself.
Cash practice is a great business model for private practitioners and hospital therapists alike because of rising deductibles and co-pays. Therapists regardless of where they practice have found that creating a memorable positive patient experience allows them to spend more time with each patient. This professional freedom allows them to truly treat the patient and be more productive.
Share with us your experience of slowing down with us.
As therapists we have tremendous opportunity to use our abilites, education and expertise to enhance client’s lives. What a privilege? If your are in the therapy business to serve people, then my new book On Fire: Ignite Your Passion with a Cash Therapy Practice might help you. The healthcare industry has undergone so many changes lately and many therapists are overwhelmed, overworked and confused on where to turn to for help in the battle.
On Fire takes a close look at innovative therapists who are using alternative ways to deliver high-value care to their patients. Cash therapy services have emerged as a viable alternative to accepting business as usual.
If you are intrigued by the attention that cash-based practices are attracting On Fire is a great primer to help you get up to speed on the key issues and how if might impact your practice. The book is available on Amazon. If you are interested in getting your own copy join my email list and I’ll keep you up to date on the special pre-order bonuses I’m giving away.
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