Printable Healthcare Newsletter Articles

Baird's popular monthly customer-service e-newsletter, The Patient Experience Post, provides timely feature articles, reading reviews, and tips for making your service efforts stronger than ever. Read below to see our most recent feature articles or feel free to print them for your own reference, but please include the required credit line!

Don’t Lose Them at “Hello”!

Download Article

It takes only about 8 seconds to make a first impression when talking with someone face-to-face, but data shows that it is anywhere between 1/40th of a second to 5 seconds when on the phone! Why the discrepancy? When communicating by phone, all a caller has to go on to form an impression is the voice of the person on the other end. Seemingly “little things” like tone of voice, how fast a person speaks, and enunciation are noticed immediately and form that vital first impression. Continue Reading...

Reflections from the Field: “We Have Met the Enemy…”

Download Article

 We work in an industry where human error can have devastating effects.  We spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars changing processes to minimize the possibility of human error wherever possible - except when it comes to customer service.  In healthcare, when service is poor, we freely blame the person delivering the service and all too often, look no deeper for a true root cause. 

I was recently working with a group of leaders who were distraught by the lack of customer service being delivered on the front lines in their organization.  The leaders complained that staff members weren’t making eye contact, smiling, or being helpful.  The organization’s patient survey scores were declining – it was clear to leaders that the problem was the people and that retraining was the answer.  As an outside observer, I saw something very different.

This organization has undergone tremendous change over the past two years.  Leaders had to make some difficult decisions.  Some services were expanded, some were consolidated or relocated, and some were eliminated completely.  Managers were responsible for adapting processes to the new reality; some were well equipped to handle this, but others were not.  The constant change didn’t just affect leaders and managers; it took its toll on employees as well.  Policies and procedures that once worked well were suddenly confusing as groups merged or teams were cut.  A lack of interoperability between disparate electronic or automated systems became apparent.  Relocation created communication, space, and workflow issues.  Leaders and managers were implementing frequent changes as they tried to solve the emerging problems.

Working in an environment fraught with these kinds of barriers can hamper even the brightest customer service star.  In Coaching for Engagement and Improved Performance, Baird Group speaks of leaders’ responsibility to coach, model, mentor, and manage.  When you coach, are you asking about and addressing barriers to great customer service?  Or, in your quest to put out the next fire, are you creating new barriers rather than managing existing barriers? If your patient experience scores are declining and your staff members seem to be struggling with delivering great service, take some time to assess potential root causes beyond human error.  You may find yourself saying, in the words Walt Kelly (creator of the immortal Pogo), “We have met the enemy and he is us.” If that is the case, model great internal customer service by managing the barriers to the best of your ability.  When you’ve made some progress there, your team will be ready for some great customer service training.  

6 Steps for Improving Employee Engagement

Download Article

The link between employee engagement and outcomes goes beyond common sense. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study demonstrated the real difference between organizations that took engagement seriously, and those that simply asserted they were concerned with employee engagement. They were able to measure clear, irrefutable results. Continue Reading...

Good Read: The Science of Pep Talks

Download Article

As Baird Group works with clients to transform culture and improve the patient experience, a vital element we address is communication. When we assess cultures in healthcare settings, we often find that leadership messaging is working against – rather than towards – greater understanding and an empathic focus on patient experience. Continue Reading...

5+ Unintended Messages You May be Sending to Your Patients

Download Article

Each day you engage in multiple interactions with patients, visitors and colleagues. Those interactions don’t always go as planned. While you may think the message you intended to send is the message the patient received, that isn’t always the case. In fact, given the stress that most patients are under when they’re in healthcare settings, there’s a high likelihood that many of your messages are being misconstrued. That’s why it’s important to monitor for cues that you’re on the same page. Continue Reading...

Click here for eNewsletter Sign Up
Never miss a blog post!