Patient Experience - Archives

3 Conversations to Improve the Patient Experience and Stem Employee Denial

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Having constructive conversations with employees is a common occurrence in the lives of managers. Unfortunately, even the most experienced and skilled manager is likely to, on occasion, be faced with an employee who is in a deep state of denial about their own behaviors—or about the impact of their behaviors. Continue Reading...

3 Important Patient Experience Resolutions That Every Healthcare Leader Should Make This Year

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A new year always seems to generate a new sense of energy in all of us. As we start a new calendar, we’re somehow heartened, inspired and motivated to make big changes and achieve great results. Unfortunately, as we all know, many of these New Year’s resolutions tend to fall by the wayside, leaving us to face the same challenges, frustrations and roadblocks that we faced the year before. Continue Reading...

3 Important Reasons You Should Be Doing Discharge Phone Calls

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You’ve just spent a few days in the hospital. While there, you felt well cared for and supported by staff. They were there to ease your mind and your pain. Then you were discharged. Now what? Even though you may be feeling a bit better, the thought of being on your own is frightening. What if you have questions? How will you know what symptoms are normal and which ones need professional attention? Continue Reading...

3 Keys to Success in 2015: Priority, People, Processes

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As we move into 2015, the future of healthcare remains uncertain as the ACA continues to firmly take hold. There are some things we can count on though... Continue Reading...

3 Questions Every Healthcare Leader Must Ask About the Patient Experience

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When it comes to the patient experience most healthcare organizations want to jump to tactics. They may give someone one tactic or a series of tactics to work on, but they stop there. Then they wonder why they don’t have the level of employee engagement and patient satisfaction that they had hoped for. The reason: they haven’t addressed the three key questions that link the tactics to the patient experience. It’s a triad of questions that includes... Continue Reading...

3 Things All PXPs Need to do in 2016 to Advance Their PX Journey

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It’s a new role—and a challenging one—Patient Experience Professionals (PXPs) have emerged as a new focus of attention for improving the patient experience. But, while many of today’s PXPs have come from within their own healthcare organizations, often from clinical roles, they find themselves challenged to make the improvements they have been charged with. Continue Reading...

5 Counterintuitive Opportunities to Cultivate a Spirit of Gratitude

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This Thanksgiving, many will spend some time reflecting on all of the things they have to be thankful for: their families and friends, their good health—the lists go on. But, one thing we’re unlikely to put on these lists are the “not so great” things that may have happened to us over the past year. We tend to fill our gratitude lists with the “good stuff.” Continue Reading...

A Quality Experience: Tracing the moments of truth

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From your patients’ perspective, quality healthcare is demonstrated in countless moments of truth throughout their interactions with your organization. All of those interactions add up to the big quality picture. Take a walk through your organization with this checklist to determine how you’d rate yourself on these critical moments of truth. Continue Reading...

Accountability Isn't Optional

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The difference between mediocre organizations and top performers are not the goals they set, but rather the accountability for achieving goals. As we work with organizations to help them improve the patient experience, we find that lack of accountability is the thing most likely to impede progress. If you want to demonstrate that being a patient centered organization is a top priority, much of the work is pretty straightforward. It usually involves... Continue Reading...

Aligning Promises with Patient Experience: Minding the gap

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Identifying what it is you wish to be is just the starting point in delivering a great patient experience. That statement, in fact, represents your vision—or it should. Your vision for excellence should obviously be reflected in all of your marketing and communication materials. But there’s more to living your mission and vision than simply telling people what those are. Continue Reading...

Are You Heartwiring Service Behaviors to Ensure Exceptional Patient Experiences?

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There’s a lot of talk in management circles, including in the healthcare industry, holding employees accountable for certain service behaviors to ensure that they happen consistently—that they simply become so engrained that employees exhibit these behaviors or perform these tasks almost without thinking about them. The term hardwiring has become industry jargon. There is a lot of merit in hardwiring behaviors, but it’s equally important to... Continue Reading...

Are Your Phone Encounters Helping or Hurting Your Reputation?

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What role does the telephone play in your organization’s ability to live the mission and build its brand? Well, despite the proliferation of new telecommunication technology, the truth is the telephone remains the most important tool to connect with your patients, whether they’re calling for an appointment, seeking follow-up information, or simply hoping to provide you with some feedback. Think about it. Continue Reading...

Breaking the Cycle of Denial: Responses to 3 common excuses

Falling back on tried and true excuses may be the comfortable thing to do when faced with the hard truths that surveys sometimes expose, but that denial trap isn't helping you reach any of your patient satisfaction goals. I'm sure many of us have either heard (or perhaps uttered!) phrases such as, "One disgruntled patient is bringing us down," or "The survey must be flawed," " Only the negative people bother filling out the surveys," "Our patients aren't like others," or even just a plain catch-all: "It's not our fault!" Facing the truth is hard, and yet, when the evidence is staring at you in black and white, why not humble yourself and seek help? Burying yourself in a litany of excuses isn't doing you, your staff, or your patients any good. See if you recognize yourself (or your organization) in any of these common denial scenarios, and plot ways to break that cycle.... Continue Reading...

Bypassing the Heart can Kill the Patient Experience

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When I say “HCAHPS” to nurses, what words or phrases come to mind? “Great patient experience?” “Exceptional care?” “Quality improvement?” Not even close . Instead, the words that most readily come to mind are words like: “Survey.” “Score.” Or even “Punishment.” I’ve literally spoken to thousands of nurses over the past couple of years. As I give presentations or consult with groups around the country, I will often bring up the subject of HCAHPS. When I do this in a group of nurses you can almost feel a change in the room. Eyes roll. Smiles disappear. Arms fold. They can look visibly tired, or beaten down... Continue Reading...

Chart a New Course with Experience Mapping

Have you ever wished you could read your customers' minds and know exactly what they think about their experiences with your organization? If you only had a method for documenting customers' impressions as they interact with your staff, you'd have a good starting point for creating an experience that not only meets their expectations but exceeds them. Continue Reading...

Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Drop of Information: 4 ways to drill down patient satisfaction

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You’d be hard-pressed today to find a healthcare organization—especially a hospital—that didn’t conduct some form of patient or resident satisfaction survey. Whether it’s a survey supported by a national vendor or one of the homegrown variety, those surveys lead to a flood of data coming back to our nation’s healthcare providers. Those organizations can tell you why it’s important to collect patient satisfaction data. They know that it’s five times more costly to attract a new customer than to retain a current one, and that a large majority of dissatisfied customers won’t voice their dissatisfaction but simply vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere. Continue Reading...

Experience Mapping: The moments of truth

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Many healthcare organizations are measuring patient satisfaction in an effort to see themselves from the patient’s point of view. While those surveys reveal a wealth of information, they sometimes fall short in defining the gaps between patient expectations and actual experiences. Continue Reading...

Five Resolutions for Improving the Patient Experience in 2013

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It’s the start of a new year, and that gets all of us thinking about goals—or, as we call them in the New Year, resolutions. For healthcare leaders, it’s a great time to be thinking about 2013 resolutions for improving the patient experience. With HCAHPS well underway and emergency room and CGCAHPS looming, leaders are understandably focused on ensuring a great experience for patients and their families at every point of contact. Continue Reading...

Fostering Exceptional Patient Experiences: 7 steps for healthcare leaders

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There are many leaders in healthcare environments, each with an opportunity to exert positive influence on those who follow them. If you’re in a position to guide and shape the behaviors of those around you, here are some specific things you can do to help foster exceptional patient experiences.... Continue Reading...

Gossip and Grudges and Gripes--Oh my!

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Face it. Dig beneath any organizational issue and you’re likely to find communication problems. Organizations are, after all, comprised of people and dependent upon good relationships among those people to effectively perform the work of the organization. Continue Reading...

HCAHPS and the Used Car Salesman

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My husband and I recently purchased an RV. Before we drove off the lot, we had a two hour introduction to our new vehicle. At the end of the session, our tutor asked us to fill out a survey about our experience. I was happy to, until he added this, “I’ll get fired if I don’t get good grades.” I started to get into a discussion with him about the opportunity to learn from customers’ experiences, but could see my husband rolling his eyes, so I left it alone, for the moment. Continue Reading...

Improve Your HCAHPS Scores with GREAT Communication

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Effective communication is absolutely critical to a positive, loyalty-building patient experience. And when the patient experience is great, your HCAHPS scores are likely to follow. But remember, the patient experience is really about more than getting great scores—it’s about delivering great care that will earn you the top scores. We use the acronym GREAT to help coach and counsel healthcare organizations on how to boost not only scores but organize optimal encounters with patients and family members. Continue Reading...

Is Analysis Paralysis Stifling your Patient Experience?

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It’s the current conundrum of healthcare (just ask the VA). Arguably every member of every healthcare organization would tell you that they want to deliver a positive patient experience, yet many organizations continue to fail to do that. Why? Continue Reading...

Is Victim Thinking Killing Your Patient Experience?

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“It’s not fair!” “It’s not my fault!” Many parents are all too familiar with these kinds of comments. Unfortunately, so are many managers! As we work with healthcare organizations around the country and conduct culture assessments, one common issue we encounter is victim thinking: “It’s not me, it’s them.” Continue Reading...

Is Your PX a Real Priority or is it Lip Service? 4 Key Indicators to Evaluate your Current State

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The difference between being able to recite your mission and vision statements versus living them are significant. We’ve been hearing for years now about how concerned healthcare leaders are about the patient experience. Yet major deficits continue to prevail. Continue Reading...

Moments of Truth Build Moments of Trust: 3 critical areas of focus

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Shaping the patient experience is a big part of what we do at Baird Group, and our recent partnership with BerylHealth puts us even more firmly into this space as we work together to provide sustainable solutions for hospitals and health systems interested in improving the patient experience and, ultimately, their CAHPS scores. Continue Reading...

No Pass Zone Fuels a Patient Centered Culture

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Picture this. You’re a patient in a hospital and you’ve dropped your reading glasses on the floor. You can’t get out of bed. You’re not in dire straits, but you’re bored—you can’t read without your glasses. You’ve turned on your call light and you’ve seen a number of people walk past your door. Nobody has stopped in to check on you. Continue Reading...

Nurses Shape the Patient Experience in Hospitals

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We focus a lot on culture as we work with healthcare organizations around the country and, while we know that it “takes a village” to deliver high-quality healthcare, we also know that there is one critical role particularly in hospital care that’s pivotal to the patient experience—nurses. Continue Reading...

Overcoming the Patient Experience “Triple Threat”

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March Madness is behind us, but after such an exciting season and stellar performance by my alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers, who thrilled fans with both their personalities and their performance this year—the phrase “triple threat” is still top of mind. Continue Reading...

People, Processes, and Place: The 3 Ps that impact the patient experience

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For healthcare organizations, it is all about the patient experience. Unfortunately, managing that experience can, as we all know, be extremely challenging. There are so many situations that can make an impact—positive or negative—on our patients, their family members, and other visitors. And, as we all know but often fail to sufficiently focus on, sometimes it’s the seemingly “little things” that can make or break that experience. It’s important to remember that the patient experience is actually a series of multi-sensory experiences that are rapidly, often subconsciously, processed into emotional responses. At the end of the experience, we ask patients to give ratings. These ratings will be based on the culmination of those layers of experiences. Continue Reading...

Post-discharge Calls. Review the pros and cons, then just do it.

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Post-discharge calls have always been important for patient service and quality care. The need for this follow up, though, has been gaining attention recently due to a new direct connection between patient satisfaction results and CMS payments. HCAHPS scores are likely to represent a percentage of annual Medicare payment in new hospital reimbursement formulas. For those hospitals that have not already been doing formal post-discharge calls, the question is no longer if the calls should be done, but how. Continue Reading...

Quality Through the Eye of the Beholder: How your patients perceive your organization

Imagine walking into Nordstrom's or Macy's, expecting to enjoy a quality shopping experience. Instead, you find clothing crumpled on the ground, sticky fingerprints all over the display cabinets, and inattentive salespeople taking personal calls on their cell phones. You'd almost have to go back outside and check the sign above the door to make sure that you'd walked into the right store, as the experience inside clearly isn't living up to the store's reputation or the image that its advertising projects. Continue Reading...

Reflections from the Field: From Silos to Synergy

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Readers of this newsletter know that at Baird Group, our passion is to support our clients in transforming culture and improving the patient experience. As we work with our clients to assess their cultures, a key theme often emerges as we ask stakeholders to "grade" service in the organization. Most often, we see participants grade their own department highest, the organization as a whole second, and "internal customer service" lowest. Continue Reading...

Scripting for a Positive Patient Experience: Five steps for success

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We’ve come to expect questions such as these in specific situations, and when we hear them, they tend to stimulate an automatic, if not somewhat mechanical, response within us. In these situations, many of us are unknowingly following our own unwritten scripts. As creatures of habit, we human beings have incorporated these unwritten scripts into almost every aspect of our lives. Scripts help us create a predictable experience and guide us in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. Continue Reading...

Service Requires More Than a Smile: The 3 Ps of exceptional patient experiences

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Have you ever had a terrible meal at a restaurant where you were served by a very friendly, courteous waiter or waitress? A bright smile simply doesn’t make up for cold or bad food, a long wait, an unkempt environment or a bill that is far higher than the quality received. Yet many healthcare organizations spend a lot of time and effort training staff members about the importance of delivering care with courtesy and a smile. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the reality is (and you can almost certainly relate) great, memorable service requires more than a smile. Yet many healthcare organizations spend a lot of time and effort training staff members about the importance of delivering care with courtesy and a smile. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the reality is (and you can almost certainly relate), great, memorable service requires more than a smile. The complexity of healthcare means that there are a myriad of big—and little—details that impact service outcomes. Continue Reading...

Tactic Overload

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Patient satisfaction, and the patient experience have been in the spotlight for several years now, resulting in the emergence of a new profession. In 2016, the Patient Experience Institute (PXI) certified its first group of Certified Patient Experience Professionals. The community of people working in the patient experience field, began developing the certification process in 2012. Continue Reading...

Tactic Overload? Find the Connection to Purpose!

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Talk to any direct caregiver in healthcare and chances are you’ll hear a bit about overwhelm caused by the myriad of tasks or tactics they’re asked to complete on a regular basis. Continue Reading...

Tactics without Traction

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As hospitals and other healthcare organizations continue to focus on the patient experience (PX), healthcare leaders are frequently in search of the “next new idea” that will push their patient satisfaction scores into the stratosphere. It’s a noble goal and best practices abound. There’s a lot of power in best practices. Continue Reading...

The Patient Experience at the Speed of Trust

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Over the past year I’ve had several first hand, up close, and personal experiences with healthcare delivery as I’ve assisted my mother with her radiation treatment appointments and recovery from a pulmonary embolism. While there have been some stellar examples of great patient care, most notably her exceptional oncologist and primary care physician, there have also, unfortunately, been some extremely disheartening incidents of disconnects and disappointments—both major and minor. Continue Reading...

The Patient Experience Goes Hollywood....

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What would your patients say about their experience at your organization? The Baird Group is always striving to help organizations understand the patient experience in ways that will engage the heart. So, in the middle of June, MedStar Health engaged Kristin Baird and Sean O’Brien Photography to conduct man-on-the-street interviews with patients to understand their expectations and experiences. The resulting video will be used to tell the patient story to MedStar leaders and frontline staff. Continue Reading...

Three Ways to Ensure the Success of Your Patient Experience Journey

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Healthcare leaders know that the patient experience (PX) matters—to patients, to providers, and to the bottom line. Face it; most providers chose healthcare as a career because they are mission driven; they are committed to helping others. Patients, of course, demand high quality and compassionate care. At the same time healthcare organizations are being evaluated—and reimbursed—based on their ability to deliver a high quality care experience. Continue Reading...

Tinker Bell Doesn’t Work Here

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It is rare that I work with an organization that, at one point or another in our engagement, doesn’t ask for some kind of training. I can usually judge a healthcare organization’s commitment to creating a culture of service by the leaders’ openness to suggestions regarding not just who should be trained, but on what topics, and in what sequence. Continue Reading...

What are your Power Moves for 2014

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How many patients (or other customers) do you see in a day? Ten? Twenty? More? On the other hand, how many medical encounters do patients have? If they’re a typical patient probably no more than three—in a year! And during each of those medical encounters, they will come in contact with several people. Each contact or touch point may be the 1000th one for the healthcare worker but the first and only for the patient. It can be a challenge to keep a fresh and focused perspective when you have so many encounters, but it’s not impossible. Consider this… Continue Reading...

What Nurse Leaders Really Think About the Patient Experience

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What is the patient experience? It is, in the most literal sense, every interaction—every, single interaction—that a patient has with a health system and all of its many moving parts during an encounter. Continue Reading...

Who Are Your Customers? If You Don’t Know, You May Be Disappointing Them!

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In healthcare we all have customers to serve. Generally, we tend to automatically consider the patient as our customer and, in most cases, the patient is the ultimate recipient of the services we provide. Continue Reading...

Why You Shouldn’t Be “Teaching to the Test” When Trying to Boost Patient Satisfaction Scores

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“Teaching to the test” is a phrase used in education to refer to the common practice among many educators who tailor their instructions to focus on what students will find on the many standardized tests they’re required to take. It’s a practice that has been widely vilified and, recently, education advocates have called for an end to test-based teaching. Continue Reading...

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