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How Can My Urgent Care Facility Benefit From a Mystery Shopper?

For some people, going to the doctor’s office even for a simple check-up can be very stressful. But add to that visit a bit of extra medical pressure, and suddenly there’s nothing pleasant about the idea for any patient. If you run an urgent care center, you know that your customers’ anxiety runs high no matter the day.

Is your staff doing their part to assuage patients’ anxiety and provide the most capable care possible? Does your facility put them at ease? Is the paperwork process as simple as it can be to make the experience less stressful? You may think everything’s running smoothly, but it’s hard to know when you’re the one in the white coat, the one holding the charts. That’s where a mystery shopping company comes in.

They’ll send someone to your urgent care facility to go through every step of the process, from check-in and paperwork to the entire patient experience behind the waiting-room doors. (Don’t worry — if another patient comes in with a legitimate emergency, medical mystery shoppers have been trained to step aside and give them priority!) The shopper will turn their copious notes into a detailed report, which will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a practice, and better care for patients in the future.

Here are some of the things they might look for:

  • Front desk employee impressions (phone skills, appointment scheduling, helpfulness, friendliness)
  • Check-in procedures (paperwork, insurance)
  • Cleanliness of office
  • Nurses’ efficiency and attitude
  • Doctors’ bedside manner
  • Time spent with patient

They probably won’t spend time on clinical issues, because that’s likely not what your patients will remember from their visit in the end, anyway. These shoppers will collect data that will offer you insight into the patient experience, which is important because you have to know their perspective, their view of your employees and their take on your facilities to give them the best care — with the least stress — possible.