Over the years I’ve seen some of the best and worst patient experiences. I’ve worked with organizations ranging from one to five star satisfaction scores. All top performing organizations have five things in common. They have senior leaders who hold everyone accountable for engagement in service, and they put into place very specific actions and systems to ensure success. Without that, you can have all the best practice tactics in the world but they won’t stick.
In my book, Raising the Bar on Service Excellence – The Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Putting Passion into Practice (2008 Golden Lamp Press), I outline the five essential leadership practices that separate the top performers from the rest. They don’t do just some of these five things; they do all of them. And they do them consistently. You see; in these top performing organizations, a great patient experience isn’t just a numeric goal penned into the strategic plan. It is a way of life that is anchored in the values and lived out in every encounter with every customer every day. It is a priority that is actualized through very specific practices in the operation of the system. Priority, People, Processes, Purpose and Passion are the five key elements needed for success. They aren’t just words on paper; they’re living, breathing aspects of the culture.