• Patients As Customers?

    Viewed 1015 Times

    Is it too far fetched to treat our patients as if they were visiting a five-star restaurant?  Not necessarily in today’s healthcare world. It is natural for us to hold on old habits.  We have our comfort zones whether they relate to food recipes, business practices or even the delivery of healthcare.  Your favorite seafood prepared the same way by every restaurant, or the latest smartphone with only the same features as all of its competition would hardly be considered exceptional.  And so it goes with healthcare.  Historically patients go to the hospital or doctor’s office to feel better.  However, they may actually feel worse after experiencing inconvenient parking, inordinate waiting times, and indifferent staff attitudes.  There are changes underway that will demand higher performance from our healthcare institutions.  More and more patients are demanding a positive experience along the path to feeling better.  Why is this happening?  Hospitals are now advertising that they can deliver special services that separate them from nearby hospitals and their Medicare patients are receiving HCAHPS surveys to rate their experience. Today’s patients have become consumers and they expect to be treated well in addition to eventually feeling better.  They are constantly being told by friends, family and now the media and hospitals that this should be their expectation. The noted customer service and patient experience consultant, Micah Solomon, wrote recently in Forbes Magazine that healthcare is “hospitality with healing”.  He advocates that medical providers and institutions resist the temptation merely to compare themselves with others in their own industry.  This only will encourage acceptance of the “status quo”, while falling short of the patient’s expectations.  Instead, he urges setting the benchmark for healthcare customer service at the level being utilized by service-intensive industries such as retail, foodservice and financial services.  Only then will a truly exceptional patient experience be delivered to the consumer.           

    Dr. Doug Finefrock is a leading national specialist in improving the Patient Experience and HCAHPS scores.  His Patient SET™ Program "Satisfaction Every Time" with The Sullivan Group includes physician CME and nursing CE online video courses that provide scalable communication training for healthcare workers.

  • Patient Experience Awareness Is Everywhere

    Viewed 1186 Times

    Over the last few years, the term “patient experience” has become a more recognized focus for hospitals, clinics and physician offices.  It is sometimes synonymous with patient satisfaction, patient centered care, and patient eng...

  • Nonverbal Communication

    Viewed 1107 Times

    Nonverbal communication is the single most powerful form of communication.   There are three main channels of communication (Eggert, 2012).  The meaning of the words represents 7% of the message; how the words are said accou...

  • Effective Communication: Often Overlooked, Misunderstood

    Viewed 763 Times

    Many people consider themselves to be good communicators, but do not truly understand the skills required to be effective communicators.  Think back on your experience with high school or college instructors.  How many of them would sim...

  • HCAHPS – The Hospital Perspective

    Viewed 2319 Times

    Patient experience / patient satisfaction is one of the top 3 priorities of hospitals over the next 3 years, according to the March 2011 Beryl Institute survey of 790 hospital executives. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provide...