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The Why - Learning From Complaints

Jun 26, 2019
What types of complaints are referred to the VCMS and how can complaints be learned from? 

Just as you may expect, a complaint is raised when the owner is unhappy with the care and service provided. Almost all complaints refer to communication involved between the practice and the client. Mediation discussions often reveal the difference between what has been said, and what has been understood. 

The nature of the complaints received by the VCMS can be broken down into the following:

  • Care (67%)
  • Customer care (19%)
  • Fees (11%)
  • Products (1%)
  • Other (2%)

A complaint, regardless if it requires mediation from the VCMS or not, can be a useful learning tool for a practice and an opportunity for growth within the organisation. Indeed, feedback, in the form of complaints or not, is one of the most useful ways to bring about sustainable change and can form the basis for the improvement in standards and service. Client complaints can provide direct feedback that can be used to change practice and improve patient experience and outcomes. 

Dealing with a complaint on an individual level can resolve an individual care but also ought to be used as a chance to create systemic changes to address the root causes of complaints, thus improving client service and decreasing the likelihood of complaints going forward. 

What are some of the benefits of learning from complaints?

  • Improvement in client/practice relationships;
  • Can learn from the complaint and deal with a similar situation or avoid a similar complaint in the future through best practice;
  • Can help to resolve a similar or complaint or dispute quicker through improving systems and processes;
  • Improvement in service to clients;
  • Improvement in the clinic’s systems and processes;
  • Develop a greater understanding and empathy for clients going forward.

Of course, there may be circumstances where a third party may be required to mediate and provide conflict resolution. The VCMS resolves 86%, and growing, of all cases through mediation. 

For more information on our mediation services, contact our teams directly via 0345 040 5834 or enquiries@vetmediation.co.uk.

Independent mediation for veterinary professionals and their clients