How can orthopedic surgeons doing hip and knee replacement surgery improve patient satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction plays an important role in our everyday lives. It can determine everything from which restaurants we return to, which friends we choose to hang out with, and which customers of ours will refer their co-workers over to us. Customer satisfaction is considered the leading indicator to determine customer loyalty and the separation point that could lead to attracting new customers over the competition. Patients are considered customers in the medical industry.

The hip and knee joints are crucial in supporting the weight of the human body in both static and dynamic postures. I feel there are 3 things that orthopedic surgeons doing hip and knee replacement surgery can do to improve patient satisfaction.

1. Relationships: Get to know more about your patient outside of the human anatomy.
a. Strong relationships are the foundation of exceptional satisfaction.
b. What do they like to do? What is their favorite type of music? Who is their favorite sports team?

2. Open Communication
a. Having an open communication policy established from the beginning where the surgeon frequently checks in on the patient personally. This can be as done as quickly as sending a simple text message checking in. This would allow the patient to text over any quick questions or concerns which would in turn, lead to more referrals.

3. Commitment
a. Patients are looking for positive results from their surgery. By building an environment and expectation for accountability for results will give motivation and mental optimism to patients. One of the best ways to gain trust is to ensure that your patients know exactly what they can expect from their surgeon. These expectations obviously can’t be a 100% recovery, but it can be a 100% commitment to work together to get as close to 100% as possible.

A wise professor once told me that the best leaders/managers/bosses are those who started out in sales. The best way to lead your team is to know your product. The best way to know your product is to sell it. The best way to know who your customers are is to sell to them so you can learn what their needs are. I feel that this concept can be applied into the medical industry with Orthopedic Surgeons.

The best surgeons I have met are those that truly treat each patient as a customer to their own business and they build their own brand. They get to know their patients and individually craft treatments to their customers (patients) personalities and interests. I have a huge respect for orthopedic surgeons and the years of schooling you go through and high stress situations where we as the public many times might be counting on your expertise to help us walk again.

I feel that by implementing these 3 things into the operating rhythm of orthopedic surgeons, their patients will not only be extremely satisfied, they will feel they have a friend who they can trust to get them up and moving again which is why we are all here to enjoy this beautiful life we have to the fullest.

Thank you for your consideration.

2016 Scholarship Finalist

Jake W

Gilbert, Arizona

The final question on the application was an essay question.

The essay question was:

How can orthopedic surgeons doing hip and knee replacement surgery improve patient satisfaction?

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