BUSINESS: The Problem with Glass Windows At A Concierge or Direct Care Clinic and Why One Entrance Isn’t Enough For ALL Patients.

By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief

JUNE 26, 2013 – It’s often been examined and criticized that having two entrances for your patients if you are a doctor is elitist and rude. While this opinion may have some fans, from a customer service and patient relations perspective, it’s sometimes necessary to have two entrances that have two lobby/check-in desks but it’s never acceptable, from a patient service point-of-view, to have a glass window [i.e. barrier] between you and a concierge medicine patient.

doctors- If you participate in a direct primary care or concierge medicine practice that accepts insurance and has a concierge program, here’s the problem with one entrance in some concierge medical clinics – you still have one entrance for all your patients.

Let me explain. When you have one entrance and lobby for all of your patients, there is usually a check-in desk or glass window. Logistically and for HIPAA reasons this is understandable, and when these patients arrive you’d like to know whether or not they’re an insured patient or on the concierge program, right? Well, this might sound fine from an operational standpoint, put yourself in the position of the concierge patient.

In summary, if I’m paying a premium to see my doctor, you better know my name when I arrive and I sure shouldn’t have to tap on the glass when I walk-in. This sends the wrong message to patients about your customer service and you’ll see it reflected in your patient retention when it comes time for those concierge medicine program patients to renew their membership or subscription with your practice.

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