How quickly will we see results? That question tops the list of things CEOs ask us when we start working with them on their patient experience journey. What they really want to know is how soon they will see an increase in HCAHPS scores. The bigger question should be; how will we achieve and sustain progress?
A focus on scores alone is a myopic view of the real journey. When the scores are the only measure of success, you miss the opportunity to craft and nurture the context of the patient experience – the culture.
By shifting the focus to the culture first, you stand a much better chance of achieving and sustaining results. The culture wasn’t shaped in four weeks, so don’t expect it to completely change in four weeks.
Start by examining the culture. What are the beliefs and attitudes among the employees and managers that are shaping the patient experience today? How do they see their roles? What messages are they receiving about organizational priorities? How are people held accountable? What happens if people don’t live up to expectations? Until you understand these things, you cannot set forth a plan of action that will achieve lasting change.