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Healthcare Update – March 2012

Focus Groups

A focus group is a tool used to gather a collective point of view from several customers at the same time. It can be used to test if a certain hypothesis concerning customer needs is true, or to solicit feedback on a number of topics. Focus groups can also be used to obtain employee feedback, helping to enhance employee involvement and satisfaction.

 In this example, a doctor’s office was planning to re-engineer its reception processes to expedite how quickly patients could be checked in while minimizing the amount of time spent by the receptionists. In addition to obtaining feedback on the potential process, the office wanted to learn of other improvement opportunities it should consider at the same time.

Office staff held a focus group with new and long-term patients to solicit their feedback. Through the focus group, the doctor’s office was able to incorporate some of the feedback into the re-engineering processes, which ultimately improved productivity while also improving patient satisfaction.

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