Numbers speak volumes

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 52, April 2010, Page 120 President's Comment

Portrait of BCMA President Brian Brodie

In order to gauge the effectiveness of any program or project, it’s important to set benchmarks and then measure at periodic intervals. That’s exactly what your association has done to determine its effectiveness and relevance to members. 

Two years ago polling firm Ipsos Reid surveyed many of you to get your impression of the BCMA and how it represents your needs. This past January, Ipsos Reid again surveyed members and asked essentially the same questions, plus a number of others, so we could determine how well or poorly we are doing (the results of that survey are included in this issue of the Journal). 

I am extremely pleased to say we’re doing pretty darn well. In many areas, the numbers improved or they remained at the same high level.

The survey is separated into 19 sections, with an emphasis placed on association reputation, communication efforts, and insurance and member benefits. New sections include a focus on retired members, information technology use, and social media. Please take a minute to review the insert in this issue of the Journal and see the results of the survey.  

The great thing about surveys is they offer meaningful two-way communication. They help us understand your point of view, clarify priorities, and nip false rumors in the bud. Surveys point out troublesome issues and determine the effectiveness of the programs we’ve put in place to improve those issues. 

Sometimes the issues are complex and one solution doesn’t solve the problem. But regular surveys will show where improvements have been made and where they are lacking.   

I won’t go into great detail here about the member survey—it would be better for you to peruse the survey results when you have a minute. But I would like to point out a few things. 

How do you view us, generally speaking, or how valuable is your asso­ciation to you? Three-quarters of you (76%) said you have a favorable im­pression of the BCMA. That’s up from 71% 2 years ago. 

This figure includes attributes such as how well you be­lieve the Association negotiates and advocates on your behalf, whether it provides good and helpful services, and the quality of financial benefits it provides. Knowing that the favorable impression increased 5% means we’re on the right track, but that we still have work to do. 

Value for fees paid
Regarding the rate of return you get for your dues, 71% felt membership provided good value. That’s up 8% from 2 years ago. Members primarily value the benefits packages, insurance, negotiations, and representation of the medical profession to government and the public. We’re glad these numbers are increasing too as we continually look for more ways to increase value of membership.

Staff support
I’m very pleased to say that members continue to give the BCMA good to great marks for anything involving direct contact between physicians and staff. Eighty-three percent of you feel that the BCMA staff is doing a good job of supporting member services and needs—that’s up 5% from 2 years ago. 

As well, 95% say their call to the main switchboard is answered promptly, 83% have a timely response to voicemail, and 91% have a timely response to an e-mail message. Staff work hard to ensure that members are taken care of, so I’m glad that is being recognized. 

Use of BCMA services
More members are getting up to speed with electronic devices and using them for transactions and to communicate with the BCMA. The proportion of members who pay their dues online is now 85%—an increase of 16% from 2 years ago; 25% pay in­surance premiums online—up 6%; and 21% purchase something through Club MD online—up 8%. 

Also good news is that 97% of members who use the web site for electronic transactions were satisfied with the process. I really hope these numbers continue to increase.  

Of course, we will strive to improve these numbers. There will always be additional work to do, improvements to be made, and elimination of some programs while implementing others. But as mentioned earlier, the great thing about doing a benchmark survey and then revisiting it 2 years later is that it clearly shows us what is working and what still needs improving.|

Thank you to everyone who took time out from other activities to participate in this last survey. Your Association only works for you when you let us know how we’re doing.
—Brian Brodie, MD

Brian Brodie, MD. Numbers speak volumes. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. , April, 2010, Page(s) 120 - President's Comment.

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