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Smart Doctor…10 Points. Waiting Room Magazines From ’63…0 Points. Rating Your Doctor… Priceless!

August 10th, 2007 · No Comments

Usually airplane travel includes bad food, cramped quarters and delays.  I recently flew on American Airlines to Chicago – no delays – but an interesting quirk of not a speck of food either.  No peanuts, no cookie.  Wow… cost-cutting gone haywire.  And airport security was nice enough to confiscate my yogurt – I hadn’t realized that a closed Dannon container was considered a potentially-dangerous liquid – so I couldn’t even turn to my own snacks.

One redeeming things about my flight was an article by Jim Shahin titled Moody Blues in the airline’s magazine.  He described a world-class restaurant that tracks your satisfaction with your dining experience from when you come in the door through to your exit.

You enter the restaurant – what’s your mood?

10 – euphoric
9 – pleased
8 – satisfied… down thru
5 – disappointed…
3 – hostile…
1 – combastive

Excited to be at the restaurant, you’re at a 10.  Then your appetizers are slow to arrive… maybe down to 8.  But those appetizers blow your socks off… back up to 10.  Your entrees are good… 9, no water refills… 7, the chef visits your table… back up to 10.  And so on…

The restaurant’s goal is for all diners to leave with at least a 9 overall.  If they see your numbers start to slip… voilà, a complimentary appetizer or glass of wine arrives.

It got me wondering about such a system at your doctor’s office.  You’ve scheduled a consultation with a highly recommended physician and are eager for her suggestions… 10.  The receptionist is pleasant… there’s water and comfy chairs in the waiting room… 10.  The magazines are dated 1963… 8.   The wait’s 45 minutes… 6.  You’re called into the examining room, which is so cold that polar bears would be at home… 5.  But the doctor’s wonderful, patient, interested… 9.  She discusses a treatment plan that makes sense, and answers all your questions… 10.

And here’s the best part… the office takes a look at what your experience was like to improve themselves.  At your next visit, the magazines are from 2007.  And when the wait’s more than 15 minutes, the receptionist lets you know why and asks if there’s anything you need.

Come to think of it, this system could be used in a lot of places.  Shahin suggests letting your partner, your teen, and your boss use one.  Your partner’s satisfaction is at a 6 – better bring flowers home.  Your boss is at a 9 – good time to discuss a raise.

Where would you like to use this system?

Cartoon courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner.  Thanks!


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