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Hospitals Elevate Patient Satisfaction To The C-Suite
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
3/31/2014 | 11:49:14 AM
Re: Who is elevating all of the other patients?
I'd also argue this is why some healthcare-specific ratings sites stink. Whereas you can rate doctors on specifics such as punctuality or knowledge, some of the more popular medical-ratings sites don't give you the room to add more information unless you write a novel in comments. They don't have enough areas with check-mark boxes, IMHO, almost as if the creators of these sites haven't been to many doctors or hospitals (lucky them!). Sure, you can go to more mass market sites like Yelp, but i'd love to see a healthcare-focused site that did a better job with a broader array of grading categories. As you say, PaulR, there are many areas at which a practice can excel (or fail), some of which happen long after you've left the examining room -- and they can be the most important.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
3/31/2014 | 11:44:19 AM
Re: Who is elevating all of the other patients?
Those are terrific points, PaulR -- and as hospitals (and other healthcare providers) focus on population health and expanding their role beyond the time a patient checks out, you are spot-on in saying they're even more critical to an organization's "patient experience." 

While I have not been a patient at any of the hospitals interviewed here, I believe hiring a CXO is one small step in building an organization that (at least in theory) focuses on EVERY experience a patient, would-be patient, family member or friend of a patient has with every single member or representative of a hospital. So that would include ensuring nobody is on hold for long; that all calls get returned in a timely (and polite) manner; that it's easy to make and change appointments; that all staff -- from janitors to doctors -- are polite and helpful; that refills are easy to get from any legit pharmacy; that parking lots are well lit, etc. And if one or more of those areas fail, that because I'm the CXO -- with a Chief in my title -- I have enough heft and authority to make changes (like retraining or firing an individual). 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 9:56:09 AM
Re: Who is elevating all of the other patients?
The population health management structures being put in place, such as Accountable Care Organizations, are supposed to help change the equation toward treating the whole patient, caring for them both in and out of the hospital and helping them manage their own conditions. That those that succeed in helpin us take better care of ourselves will be the ones that build a better relationship with us, making us want to do business with them and respect them -- because they're showing respect for us.

Let's hope some of them get there.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
3/26/2014 | 4:41:42 PM
Re: Who is elevating all of the other patients?
I think most of PaulR's excellent analysis applies just as much to medical practices as to hospitals. From my limited experience, they both have a woeful understanding of a well-rounded customer experience.
PaulR438
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PaulR438,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2014 | 2:42:03 PM
Who is elevating all of the other patients?
Hospitals continue to do a disservice to themselves and their patients by limiting their definition of patient experience to what it has always been or to how the regulators define it.  Patient experience as defined by most is defined as only those events that occur within the hospital, and only for those individuals who happen to be inpatients.

That implies that once someone is discharged, or if a patient happened to be an outpatient that any experience that person had is of no consequence.  Most hospitals sure treat it that way, and they do so at their own peril.

So, if you are a hospital administrator—CEO, CFO, COO, CMO, CIO, or CXO—why should you be alarmed? 

You should be alarmed because you have no idea of the experiences of most of the people who interact with your hospital.  And not knowing whether those experiences are good or bad is costing you patients; lots of them.  Those people include outpatients, discharged patients, former patients and prospective patients.  It includes people coming for labs and therapy. It includes people trying to schedule an appointment, those calling for a refill, and those calling to speak to a nurse. 

If I have a bad experience as an outpatient I will never consider being an inpatient.

If I cannot get an appointment or a refill, I will go somewhere where I can.  How many thousands of your hospital's prospective patients do that every year?

Implementing a screen saver will not improve any of those experiences.  Measuring the satisfaction of individuals at those touchpoints and designing an excellent experience will improve them.

I spoke with a woman last year who was undergoing chemotherapy at the top cancer hospital in the US.  She called the hospital to schedule an appointment because her medicines were making her ill.  She spent three hours on hold and having her call transferred.  She volunteered that she will make it her mission in life to tell others how poor her experience was with that hospital.

So, while there may be merit in trying to bump your HCAHPS score from sixty-four to sixty-five, there may be just as much merit or more in making sure that the experiences from each patient touchpoint are excellent.

More people visit your hospital every day online and by phone than are admitted.  Who is in charge of improving their experience?  Who is in charge of retaining them and their family members and making sure that their experience was so good that they refer other people to your organization?

If the answer is 'nobody' you had better have one heck of a screen saver.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/25/2014 | 2:03:07 PM
Re: Is naming a Chief Experience Officer important to a better patient experience?
@Rob I find that title easier to take than "Chief Happiness Officer," which I've seen for other businesses.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
3/25/2014 | 1:27:48 PM
Re: Is naming a Chief Experience Officer important to a better patient experience?
One thing it does suggest is that the organization is serious enough about these issues to devote a C-level executive to it. Whether a fancy title like Chief Experience Officer survives is a whole other question. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
3/25/2014 | 1:06:09 PM
Is naming a Chief Experience Officer important to a better patient experience?
Does giving some senior person this formal title translate into a better patient experience? I'd have to imagine it still depends very much on that person's strategy and leadership qualities, not just the fact that they got the CXO title.


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