Written By: Kristin Baird, MHA, BSN, RN
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.
It’s no different in healthcare. Healthcare leaders have long been focused on improving the patient experience. Yet, despite their vocal and visible support to these efforts, many find their results still lagging.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
You’ve likely heard this definition of insanity before: “doing the same thing over, and over again and expecting different results.” That’s how many patient experience efforts tend to go. Leaders engage in the same actions and activities—the same passionate exhortations—yet the numbers don’t budge.
Believe it or not, one of the foundational problems we’ve seen in many organizations is training. It’s not uncommon for us to run across organizations that tell us, “We’ve already done training, but nothing seems to stick.” The problem is they’ve done training—maybe once, and maybe several years ago. That’s not enough. And they haven’t set the stage for managers to hold everyone accountable for consistently performing what was learned in training. It hasn’t become a part of daily life.
Here’s another saying you may be familiar with: “If you always do what you always do, you’ll always get what you always got.” Want to achieve different, and better, results in 2017? Here are three resolutions we think every healthcare leader should make.
- Go back to review the 7 Habits of Highly Successful PXP Program. It’s a roadmap for creating a positive patient experience in your organization.
- Make sure you’re setting clear goals. “Improve patient satisfaction” is not a clear goal. You need to be explicit so employees know exactly what your expectations are.
- Engage others. Healthcare is an industry driven by personal passion. Your staff members were drawn to this field because of their commitment to care for others. Leverage that commitment to engage them in your improvement efforts. You cannot do it alone.
The political environment we now face is certain to have some dramatic effects on healthcare. But, regardless of what the future holds, what may happen with the ACA, or what new regulations may face the healthcare industry, one thing is certain. Patients will still be coming to us every single day for care and compassion. It’s up to us to deliver a consistently great experience, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world. Our patients depend on it!
What will you do in 2017 to ensure greater continuity in your patients’ experiences? We’ve got a great starting point for you.
Want to use this article in your e-zine, newsletter, or on your Web site? You may, as long as you include the following statement:
Nurse, author, and consultant Kristin Baird, “Healthcare’s Customer Service Guru,” is
the author of Raising the Bar on Service Excellence: The Health Care Leader’s Guide to
Putting Passion into Practice (Golden Lamp Press, 2008), Reclaiming the Passion:
Stories that Celebrate the Essence of Nursing (Golden Lamp Press, 2004), and
Customer Service In Healthcare: A Grassroots Approach to Creating a Culture of
Service Excellence (Jossey Bass, 2000). The Baird Group provides consulting, mystery
shopping, and training services for improving the patient experience. To learn more,
please visit https://baird-group.com or call 920-563-4684.