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Medical institutions advised to improve customer service

By By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

PATIENTS accessing medical care at public institutions can expect better customer service from employees.

This according to chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Anil Gosine who said “without the patients we would not have a job”.

Gosine was speaking with the Express Thursday after an “Embracing  Leadership” symposium at City Hall, San Fernando.

The symposium focused on becoming better managers, leaders and employees. Staff from all regional health authorities (RHAs) including Tobago, attended the two-day event  that ended yesterday.

Gosine said most complaints RHAs received were about customer satisfaction.

He said even if customers had to wait extra time, as long as there was proper communication, they may not mind.

He said the symposium was beneficial to all who attended and hopefully, what was learnt would be practised.

“They (patients) have been getting good customer care and they are going to get better,” Gosine said.

The facilitator of the symposium was  Fred Lee,  author of  health care management book, ‘If Disney Ran your Hospital; 9½ things you would do differently’.

Lee is a former cast member of Disney and a former senior vice president of a major medical centre.

Lee told the Express the main problem medical institutions faced was not promoting persons  with good communication skills.

He said: “Managers are not courteous. They know the technical part of the job but they are not promoted because of the way they interact with people. They tend to promote people who are the best, the experts at the clinical tasks but often those people are not the best at working with people to inspire them. I think you have to earn the right by being an inspirational leader,” he said.

Lee advised attendees: “Do more than the person expects and more than the situation warrants.”

He said staff’s main goal should be to make a good impression on patients.

Giving advice from Disney, Lee said: “You are always right when satisfying a guest.”

The three main levels of care were compassion, courtesy and competence  and the three main enemies of those were judging, avoidance and carelessness, Lee said.

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