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Terminal Uniqueness Kills Progress

Posted by Kristin Baird on July 29th, 2013 • No Comments »

I never hear people questioning the patient satisfaction survey data when the scores are stellar. I cannot imagine hearing a doctor say, “Ninetieth percentile? That can’t be right. I’m just not that good,” or a nurse leader say, “Our patients are overly generous. We don’t deserve to be in the ninety-fifth percentile.” But when the scores tank, excuses flow.

At the top of this list are those that I classify as “terminal uniqueness,” including the following:

  • My patients are sicker
  • My patients are poorer and too demanding
  • My patients are wealthy and expect too much
  • I get bad scores from all the drug seekers
  • Most of my patients have a language barrier and must not understand the questions

Spending energy trying to explain why your patients are not like the hundreds of thousands of others in the database is probably not a good use of resources, yet it happens on a daily basis in discussion across the country.

Isn’t it time to let go of the excuses and embrace the data for what it is? Until you do, you won’t make any progress toward improving the patient experience.

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Baird Consulting


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