Understanding and improving the experience of patients
Anglesea OMS Ltd is a specialist surgical clinic, the only one of its kind in NZ. It provides an extensive range of oral and maxillofacial surgery services. It is a well-established practice operated by experienced specialist surgeons using state of the art equipment.
With upcoming changes in the oral surgery industry, we were approached to help Anglesea OMS Ltd respond proactively to likely increased competition. They asked us to help them evaluate a core service and work out how it could be made better for patients and help the clinic stand out amongst competitors.
Uncovering the current experience
We conducted an ethnographic-style study of the wisdom tooth extraction patient experience. We followed a group of patients through the entire wisdom tooth extraction experience. We researched patients in the lead up to surgery, on the day of their surgery, during their recovery and getting on with their lives afterward.
Analysing the current experience
We took all of our own research data and combined it with written and photo diaries completed by patients. Analysing all of this, we identified the clinic’s different patient types. We also mapped out the current experience and highlighted where things were working well for patients (and the clinic) and where things could be improved.
Identifying opportunities for innovation
Our analysis identified clear opportunities for innovation. We came up with close to 50 potential product and service solutions. These ranged from small improvements to transformations and brand new offerings. Our analysis also revealed an opportunity to significantly increase internal efficiencies in the provision of the service researched.
Developing a customer experience strategy
Next, we took everything that we’d learned and converted it into a customer experience strategy. We focussed on producing a strategy that was inspiring, actionable and applicable across the clinic’s different functions and activities.
We took Anglesea OMS Ltd staff through our findings and provided them with a customer experience strategy, which included:
- a customer experience map / journey map, identifying five phases of the patient experience
- their four key patient types; information about them and insight into their service needs
- five service principles for all patients
- a ranking of the phases of the customer experience, identifying which require the most attention
- 48 concepts for product and service innovation.
Implementing improvements to key touchpoints
Our research revealed the importance of two specific touchpoints for the clinic and its patients. One touchpoint was in the form of a letter to patients, the other was the clinic’s website.
We developed and tested concepts for improvements to these touchpoints, including prototyping a new website. We worked with Anglesea OMS to implement the improved letter to patients. We also provided a clear direction, and specific improvements for their website.
Anglesea OMS Ltd now has a deep understanding of their patients and their experience. The customer experience strategy can be used to inform any decision making on improvements to the clinic’s products and service offering, based on what really matters to their customers.