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April 29, 2014

One Easy Way for Front-Line Leadership to Increase Patient Satisfaction

All humans have a fundamental need for connection, and your patients are no exception. What kind of message is conveyed when patients never hear from the leadership of the healthcare organization? What kind of message is sent when they receive a form letter asking about Patient Satisfaction? The answer is simple: They feel disconnected; they feel like a number.

Patient Satisfaction has come to the forefront of healthcare facilities. With few exceptions, your revenue is tied to Quality Measures and Patient Satisfaction.


The Limitations of Patient Satisfaction Questionnaires

Many organizations use third-party Patient Satisfaction Questionnaires; while convenient, these surveys do not provide a complete picture of patient satisfaction and where it currently stands. Companies that provide this service certainly offer useful information, but limitations of the survey process as a whole include:

  • They fail to be timely. They provide information after the fact
  • They keep leadership disconnected. Theyprovide another reason (among many) for front-line leaders to stay in the office
  • They often have difficulty in providing a significant data set. Multiple questionnaires often get sent out in order to get enough responses to create a useful survey
  • The surveys themselves may be a dissatisfier. Patients may complain about the intrusiveness of these systems
  • They take away a key ingredient for success. This method puts a third-party in charge of one of your most important activities—Customer Service

What if you could get useful, actionable, information that leads to quick service recovery and improved operations? What if that information would connect leadership to the patient and create a feeling of trust and partnership? This can be done and provide the opportunity for your patients to recognize that their entire experience is important to the organization’s leadership. Your patients will complement the customer service that you provide. They will begin advertising for you as they share their positive experiences with others. You will meet the Affordable Care Act requirement for Patient Satisfaction without breaking a sweat. Best of all, you have all the resources available within your current operation.


The Upside to Leadership Conducting Patient Rounding

The must-do practice to help achieve your facility’s patient satisfaction goals is leadership involvement in Patient Rounding. Here are a few reasons why this idea is so critical to success:

  • Your patients want to hear from the leadership while at your facility
  • They want to tell you what is RIGHT with their experience as well as what is WRONG
  • The group of patients who may not answer a satisfaction survey will generally be willing to talk to a leader/manager who expresses a genuine interest in their experience
  • The exchange becomes more personal
  • The leader/manager becomes more connected to the patient experience and patient care


Three Tips on Effective Patient Rounding

Development of a Patient Rounding initiative doesn’t have to be complicated or obtrusive; it just needs to be organized:

  1. The leader should round on a diverse sample of patients. They shouldn’t, however, round on all of the patients
  2. When something negative arises from a conversation, the leader/manager must act the same day to rectify the situation. Once the situation is rectified, communicate the fix to the specific patient
  3. The leader/manager must perform these actions regularly by conducting some rounding every week


If you would like to learn more about how an unbiased, third-party consultant with expertise and experience to increase patient satisfaction can help you and your facility, contact our team for more information, or call 1-866-345-3887.

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