practice management

Turning Complaints Into Opportunities: How Feedback Can Improve Patient Satisfaction

Imagine you’re a patient who has just received subpar healthcare services - you’re frustrated, angry, and disappointed. You want to voice your concerns, but you feel like no one will listen or care. You wonder if there’s any point in complaining at all.

Now imagine you’re a healthcare provider who has just received a complaint from a patient — you’re busy, stressed, and overwhelmed. You want to provide quality care, but you face many challenges and constraints. 

If you can relate to either of these scenarios, you’re not alone. Many patients and providers struggle with the gap between expectations and reality when it comes to healthcare services. But what if we told you there’s a simple and effective way to bridge this gap and turn complaints into opportunities?

Join us as we discuss the benefits of using PCC's EHR platform to manage patient feedback and turn it into actionable insights that can help your pediatric practice deliver exceptional healthcare services. 

Why Patient Complaints Are a Good Thing

Patient complaints can seem like a thorn in the side of any pediatric practice. But, what if we told you that they’re actually a hidden gem? That’s right, patient complaints are a sign of patient engagement and a golden opportunity for growth. 

When a patient speaks up about their concerns, it means that they care about their healthcare experience and want to provide you with an opportunity to do better. And when you respond to their complaints promptly and effectively, you can win their trust and loyalty. 

By listening to your patients and making changes based on their feedback, you can show that your practice is dedicated to delivering the best possible care. So, don’t let patient complaints get you down. Instead, see them as a chance to learn.

Pediatric Management Institute's Story

Paul Vanchiere, founder of Pediatric Management Institute, believes that patient complaints are opportunities for improvement. Complaints indicate unmet expectations, whether it be delayed care or lack of attention from staff. 

By addressing and resolving complaints, providers can gain patient respect and loyalty while also transforming office protocols and services. As a former office manager of a 14-doctor pediatric practice, Vanchiere encourages healthcare providers to embrace complaints and view them as chances for growth.


Paul Vanchiere quote


Complaints, Vanchiere says, are integral to a practice's quality of service because they:

  •   Help a practice learn from its mistakes
  •   Identify gaps in current processes
  •   Provide a mechanism for Mom's input into quality improvement
  •   Provide trend data useful for quality improvement
  •   Recognize the right of Mom and Dad to complain
  •   Restore trust

How To Encourage Patient Complaints

Encouraging patient complaints might seem counterintuitive, but it's actually a valuable strategy for improving the patient experience. One way to encourage complaints is by creating a welcoming and non-judgmental environment where patients feel comfortable expressing their concerns. This can be achieved by actively listening to patients, showing empathy, and responding in a timely and professional manner. 

Another effective method is to provide patients with multiple avenues for providing feedback, such as online surveys, suggestion boxes, and phone hotlines. By making it easy and accessible for patients to share their experiences, healthcare providers can gather valuable insights that can help enhance patient satisfaction and loyalty.

How To Handle Patient Complaints

To handle patient complaints, a pediatric practice effectively should establish clear policies and procedures and ensure that all staff members receive adequate training on handling complaints. 

Additionally, providers and staff should pay attention not only to the words they use in their responses but also to their tone of voice and body language. Office managers can utilize creative training methods, such as using mirrors to demonstrate how facial expressions can impact customer interactions.

Dos and Don'ts 

As a rule of thumb, Vanchiere offered some general dos and don'ts for taking complaints:

Don't graphicDo graphic

How PCC Can Help

To turn patient complaints into opportunities for growth, a patient-centered electronic health record (EHR) system such as PCC EHR can be a game-changer. With this system, healthcare providers can effortlessly track and manage patient complaints while also gaining valuable insights into patient behavior and preferences that can drive future improvements. Powered by PCC

By embracing feedback and using tools like the PCC EHR system, pediatric offices can create a culture of continuous improvement that benefits both patients and providers. Together, we can work toward providing the best possible care for our youngest patients and their families.

To identify other opportunities to grow your pediatric practice, join pediatric management expert Chip Hart as he uncovers the top mistakes pediatricians make with our free webinar! 

Watch the Webinar: 5 Mistakes That Keep You From Running a Successful Practice



PCC has been offering pediatric-specific software, support, and practice management advice for over 30 years. Our goal is to remove the obstacles so that pediatricians can serve communities, improve their practice, and remain independent.