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A Bad Experience I Had In A Health Setting And How The Organization Could Have Done Better by Guest Blogger Matthew Ruchie

bedside manner customer experience patient experience physical therapy Nov 10, 2022

About a week ago, I went to my physical therapy fitness center to work on regaining some knee strength following a torn meniscus injury.  Going to the gym is often an oasis for me.  It allows me space and time where I can work towards my fitness and physical therapy goals without outside distractions.   

Unfortunately, since a good physical therapy center is difficult to find, I must commute thirty minutes from my residence to get to the best one.  Not to worry though! I strategically picked this location as it is rather close to my office.   

I arrived at 1 PM sharp, dressed in my fitness gear, ready to rock n’ roll!  I had a very limited schedule on this particular day-  I needed to get to my strength workout, proceed to my flexibility exercises, and then zoom into the locker rooms for quick shower and change.  After that I was headed straight back to work for an important meeting. 

When I arrived at the physical therapy fitness center, I checked in at the front desk and scanned my access card.  Then I moved on to my workout for the next hour. Once finished and drenched in the fruits of my hard work (also known as sweat), I was both surprised and flabbergasted at a sign posted on the locked locker room door reading, “The locker rooms are closed today from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM.  We apologize for the inconvenience.”  As a result, I had to drive thirty minutes back to my apartment to shower and change, then another half hour back to my work center, arriving late for that meeting. 

Why was I flabbergasted? Well, as I drove back to my apartment, I recounted all the steps the physical therapy center could have taken to prevent this situation from occurring.  Most could have been avoided had they considered the clients’ perspective on the inconvenience created.  Firstly, they could have posted the information to their social media accounts well ahead of the day the locker rooms were closed.  Secondly, and more egregiously, the staff members at the Front Desk should have offered a warm greeting to me and offered a reminder as I scanned my access card.  Lastly, the important signage should have been displayed well before members reached the locker room door.  Had any of these steps been taken, I could have easily changed my plans and saved myself the time, stress, and gas from recovering from their mistake. Needless to say, that day was not an oasis experience at the physical therapy gym like usual! 

Anytime your organization must make changes outside of normal business operations, consider the impact it has on your clients and think about a multi-pronged strategy to mitigate any inconveniences. What does your organization do to prevent such mishaps? 


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