I just read an interesting post from Nancy Porte of Vovici entitled, “Taking the Temperature of Patient Satisfaction” (http://bit.ly/aszUpX).
After reading Nancy’s post, researching and interviewing with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, taking my wife to the E.R. with anaphylaxis and my mother being in the hospital for a medical procedure, I think hospitals are leading the way in improving customer experience.
Healthcare providers are under a great deal of scrutiny. While cost management is a key focus of the government, maintenance and improvement of patient satisfaction is critical if medical providers are going to gain share as the population ages. There are many people in a hospital that can impact patient satisfaction. Imagine all the “moments of truth” with administrative staff, doctors, nurses, technologists, technicians and accounting.
There are many incentives to improve patient satisfaction and loyalty with a number of associations measuring and reporting results.
Several hospitals now report emergency room waiting times on-line or via an i-phone app.
Like customer satisfaction, patient satisfaction is highly correlated with employee engagement. Employee engagement is contagious in any organization or industry. In hospitals, positive employee sentiment leads to higher satisfaction with, and loyalty to, physicians.
With supportive employee and medical communities, the image of the hospital improves. This in turn leads to improved hospital performance and higher patient satisfaction levels.
However, consider the additional target audiences at a hospital beyond the patient. Visitors, care takers and family members are also affected by the staff at a hospital and they need to be treated politely and professionally by hospital staff as well. These people, like me, may be the one’s to provide referrals or determine where the patient goes on their next hospital visit.
In the battle to manage costs while improving patient satisfaction, it appears to me hospitals are ahead of doctors’ offices, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.
What do you think?