There are millions of things healthcare providers can learn from lab values and imaging results. But it’s important to remember that those are indicators of the physical condition and not a whole person’s condition. A blood panel won’t confirm that a patient is grieving the loss of a loved one, or that they are terrified of losing their home to foreclosure. A CT scan cannot diagnose loneliness or hopelessness. An MRI doesn’t show that a patient is confused about their diagnosis and scared to death. That is why compassion is so important. Read more...
Innovations in technology have helped to make great strides in improving the patient experience. That is, when they are used. Take the patient portal for example. My team and I recently conducted patient focus groups in three unique markets to assess patient expectations, desires and experiences. Several things became apparent during the analysis, one of which was the link between patient satisfaction and their use of the portal. The second was that nearly all of the portal “super-users” (individuals using the portal to schedule, communicate with providers, review visit summaries and check lab results) learned about the portal and its capabilities from their providers. Read more...
You know how the story starts: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” How many people do or could use this opener to describe a recent healthcare experience? I had a ring-side seat to just an experience when my mom was recently hospitalized. On the first morning of her hospitalization, I asked the patient care tech (PCT) for the plan of care. His reply? “Ask me in about three months, when I graduate from nursing school”. Read more...
Healthcare suffers from terminal uniqueness. It’s a condition where you constantly explain why your situation is different from everyone else’s in healthcare. This helps you to ascribe to excuses for why your patient experience scores are lousy. A few of the signs that you may suffer from terminal uniqueness include making comments like: Read more...
My patients are sicker
Our patients are more demanding
My patients are entitled
They are upper class
My patients are lower class
Our clinical outcomes are great. What more do they want?
It’s often difficult to comprehend everything that factors into the patient experience. The simplest way to summarize it is with people, processes and place.
When looking at the people element, it’s not just the direct interactions patients have with employees but everything they observe as well.
We were recently doing a mystery shopping report from a series of emergency department visits. One of the doctors questioned our results when he saw the glowing recap of the patient experience followed by a note that they would never return or recommend. “This doesn’t make sense,” he argued. Read more...
We often hear people say, “Keep your eye on the prize,” in reference to goals. In patient experience terms, that “prize” often refers to the patient satisfaction scores.
The problem with this line of thought is that it places the score as the ultimate goal, instead of the actual patient experience. The scores are merely an indicator of the experience.
If each and every person who comes in contact with patients and other customers can treat the present – the current encounter– as the ultimate prize, they’ll get further, faster in the quest for great scores. Read more...
Stories shape cultures and the organization’s brand. Yet storytelling is often underrated or delegated to the communication department as a task. Fostering a storytelling culture is a sadly missed opportunity.
Fostering a Storytelling Culture
Becoming a storytelling culture won’t happen by chance. It must form by design. Heartwarming stories fill healthcare. These stories go left untold. Stories help to connect to purpose on an individual level and to shape the organization’s culture.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of collecting stories from nurses on the front line of the patient experience. When they share their stories, they re-connect to purpose and re-energize. Millions of stories sit, untold, in the hearts and minds of nurses. Read more...
One of my favorite workshops to deliver is “Coaching for Engagement and Improved Performance”. Why? Because I love to see lightbulbs going on as participants start to make the connections between their leadership styles, and the overall engagement of their team members.
Last week I did an abbreviated session for a group of ambulatory surgery center leaders. They had a lively discussion about how disengaged individuals perform and the effect they have on others. They discussed: Read more...
When we evaluate the patient experience in healthcare organizations, there are two words that put your brand, your reputation, and ultimately your financial performance at risk. The two words are: “It depends”. This culture of variability is dangerous at best.
If your patient experience depends on:
the day of the week
the time of day
which door they enter
…then you don’t have a firm commitment to the patient experience. Read more...