How Sleep Centers Get a Bad Rep (And Ways to Avoid It)

Your sleep center's reputation takes years to build. But it takes just one incident to threaten it. The magnitude of loss depends on the size of the business. For instance, big companies that get a bad reputation lose billions of dollars every year. A bad reputation is damaging, especially for companies in the healthcare sector. Sleep center owners and managers have to be careful about building and maintaining a good reputation. Here are some situations that are likely to bring bad reputation to a sleep center and ways to avoid them:

Situation: The sleep center is poorly staffed

A poorly staffed sleep center will either have few employees or have those who are not competent. When you have fewer professionals than is required to comfortably run a sleep center, there is a good chance that patients are not getting the care they deserve. Identify the reason behind it and work to eliminate it. For instance, if the problem is that employees leave soon after they join, adopt some strategies to retain them. 

In case the employees are not competent, assess whether providing training will help improve the quality of care they are being provided. This is likely to work in a few situations. For example, technicians and nurses may not have good patient management skills. This can make patients feel anxious and uncomfortable. In this case, conduct a workshop and give the healthcare professionals some reading material on the topic. This may encourage them to change their current behavior and make patients comfortable.  

Situation: Location or community not suitable for sleep center

The location of your sleep center can have an impact on its reputation. For instance, if the center is located far away from the city, patients will have to travel quite a lot to get there. This can be very inconvenient. Sleep centers located in highly polluted areas can also get a bad reputation. 

Also, a few locations have a good reputation for generating talent that is well suited for a particular field. If the sleep center is in a location that has a lot of people with the skills and educational qualifications required for jobs in the healthcare field, patients will be more likely to trust that the quality of care they get is good. 

Additional Tips to Maintain a Good Reputation

  • Request patients satisfied with the treatment at the sleep center to write a positive review. 
  • Check the internet for negative reviews about the sleep center. If you come across any, report the review and request the site to remove it. If not, respond to it. 
  • Use tools for identifying influencers and try to spread positive word of mouth through them. 
  • Develop clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all employees - doctors, technicians and nurses. 
  • The center should be certified by a recognized accreditation body. This will enhance the credibility of the sleep center.

In the long run, bad reputation will seriously hurt the sleep center. This is especially true in this age when people use the internet to find and post information about a business. When patients are unsatisfied with the care they receive at a sleep center, they generally go online and post their views and experiences on sites. If even one patient makes a negative comment about your sleep center, it can harm your business' reputation. If the page with the negative comment appears among the first few search engine results and it catches the eye of a person searching about your sleep center, it can discourage him from coming for treatment. 

Negative word-of-mouth can also seriously harm the sleep center. Several studies have shown that negative word-of-mouth is much more powerful than positive word-of-mouth. That is why, it is extremely important to make sure that your patients are happy with the treatment and service that they receive at the center.

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