Successfully using customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the service they need. At Madison Health, our goal is to provide you with a positive, customer-driven experience.
The following are examples of how we’ve achieved that goal and provided a WOW experience:
• “I came for out-patient labs and was in tears and the registration person who waited on me noticed I was upset. She spent extra time with me to calm me down. She was an angel in my storm!”
• “Thanks to the Ambulatory Care nurse for taking excellent care of me. You are good at what you do, very polite, attentive, giving and caring. I appreciated the time you took to talk to me and put me at ease.”
• “The staff was friendly and caring, but there was something special about my nurse. I truly had the feeling that she genuinely cared about me! I just can’t say enough about the kindness that showed through her care.”
• “Everyone was concerned on comfort level during radiology visit. Great!”
Why would we thank you for helping us make these happen? It’s your feedback that has told us what to do (and not do) to make customer experiences a WOW.
The above patient comments taught us that patients want staff members who really care about them. Showing we care means listening; understanding when they’re upset and taking time to help before completing the task at hand; putting them at ease by sharing information and answering questions; acting professional and paying attention to their comfort.
We also learn from times when we aren’t customer focused, as in these patient comments:
• “The staff member who took my information was proficient, but not personable. No eye contact. Perhaps was having a bad day.”
• “I had an ultrasound and x-rays done about an hour apart from each other. Information prior to each procedure would have been nice.”
• “Floor was dirty. Could see muddy footprints.”
• “I sat for an hour while my nurse passed me by and socialized with another patient’s sister for half an hour. She passed me four times without talking to me and barely wanted to take my vitals.”
From comments such as these, we learned to make eye contact, smile and be friendly; not ignore patients; regularly update those who are waiting; explain testing and why it’s being done; and cleanliness is key. Have you noticed how our floors shine?
All hospitals are trying to figure out what it takes to really WOW customers. Though one might claim that customer service is the same in all industries, in healthcare it is different. Having an ongoing illness or a sudden car accident can be inconvenient, at the very least, to life-changing. It affects not only the patient, their families and significant others, but also their jobs and their finances.
We all need care at some time and healthcare organizations want you to like them enough that you’ll go back after that first experience. What do healthcare organizations need to do to make you want to come back? We call that creating a WOW experience and it’s quite simple. People want to feel cared about and that means we need to show patients we care.
How do we do that?
To find out, we’ve listened to our patients. We’ve studied both positive and negative comments through letters, surveys, and phone calls. Through you, we’ve learned the simple actions that make healthcare easier and the ones to avoid. From you, we’ve learned that it’s the simple things that make a big difference in patients’ experiences.
Simple actions include:
• Being friendly when we see you in the hall and while you’re in our departments. Greeting and welcoming you and those with you when you arrive.
• Accepting you as you are and listening to you when you’re upset. Using phrases such as “I know how hard this must be.” Or “I can understand why you’d feel that way.”
• Apologizing when things have not gone a certain way.
• Keeping you informed about what to expect, why you might be waiting, why a certain treatment is being recommended and what happens next. Not ignoring you and remembering why we’re here.
These are the simple but important things that make someone to return to Madison Health. These, along with a few others, are key components of Madison Health’s “Because We Care Standards of Behavior”. All employees are trained in these actions and get to practice them. We also strive to make them part of our ongoing effort and reminders.
Please continue to let us know when we’re hitting the mark and when we are not by completing you patient surveys. We’ll keep listening and work hard to continue to improve. We want to be the place you want to come when you need care because you know we, at Madison Health, care.
Jennifer Clarke, ACC, is the director of education at Madison Health. To contact her about an experience at Madison Health, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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