Feedback from patients - a double edged sword

At NephroPlus, one of my responsibilities is to get feedback from all patients once in two months. It is an interesting exercise. You get to talk to patients in a non-dialysis unit setting. At times, when I am introducing myself to them, I feel like I am a call center executive calling to sell a credit card or an insurance plan. The same lines over and over again to an irritated listener. Mostly though, they are all very good and complimenting!

They have never had this experience though. Someone from a dialysis unit calling and enquiring about whether the service has been good and if there are any complaints is very unusual. Some of them are so not used to it that as soon as I call they say I am coming tomorrow at 8 for my session without waiting for me to even ask my questions!

The patients in a dialysis unit are a small replica of the world. You have the Ph. D.s  and you have the uneducated. You have the extremely rich and the not so rich. You have cheerful folks and you have grumpy people. Each of them reacts to the questions in a different way.

There is one patient that I particularly dread calling. The patient is mostly grumpy. She talks only to one nurse in the dialysis unit. She doesn't even come on the phone. Its mostly her family. And they are equally grumpy. I usually save her call for the last. I try to avoid it too. But in the end, the empty cell next to her name in my Feedback Excel forces me to dial the number!

Most calls are usually very easy to do. "Excellent service", "No problems at all", "Staff is very good", "Nice of you to call"!