AIDET Audit for a Positive Patient Experience – 3 Steps to Make it Stick

Just because you offer training doesn’t mean the lessons are implemented immediately and consistently from that day forward which is why AIDET audits are pivotal to consistent performance.

AIDET is an effective communication technique adopted by thousands of healthcare organizations.

The acronym stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You.

Originally coined by Studer Group, AIDET is now commonplace throughout healthcare as a customer service standard.

Although many organizations teach AIDET, not all of them perform regular audits to ensure it is being carried out consistently which can lead to problems.

Not long ago, my team and I were performing a culture assessment in a healthcare system where The CEO mentioned everyone had been trained on AIDET. The head of HR boasted they had 90% of staff completing AIDET training. The patient experience director personally oversaw over 100 training sessions to ensure every staff member knew how to perform AIDET. There had been an immense amount of work done – five years ago. There was no AIDET audit being performed.

Since that time, new employees learn about AIDET in orientation, but when they get to their units, they see little, if any, evidence of AIDET in action. When we utilized focus groups with front line staff and managers, we found minimal recall of the term AIDET and no recall of the acronym or the behaviors let alone any evidence of an AIDET audit.

Mystery shopping revealed major inconsistencies in behaviors versus the training that had been provided.

What happened?

Like many organizations, this system trained everyone on a best practice and stopped there.  There was no follow through to ensure everyone implemented the newly acquired skill consistently during every encounter. The managers ensured people went to training but didn’t tell stories about the impact AIDET was having on the patient experience. They didn’t remind people of AIDET or give real-time feedback and coaching.

If you want AIDET training to stick, you must commit to auditing along with feedback and coaching. High reliability organizations don’t stop with one set of instructions. They reinforce and audit constantly.

The Three Steps to Make AIDET stick:

  1. Connect to Purpose. Make a connection between the skills and the mission, vision, and values. “Doing this consistently ensures we are delivering on our mission, vision and values during every encounter.”

  2. Checks and Balances. Audit regularly. During rounds, observe people and give feedback and recognition for following through with AIDET. Utilize the effective tool of mystery shopping and shadow coaching proven to work by Baird Group.

  3. Connect through Compelling Stories. Share employee stories about how AIDET is improving patient perceptions and trust and back it up with the facts.

Never treat training as a one-and-done event. Training on anything is the beginning, not the end. Not sure where to start or what tools to track the results? Baird Group has a proven approach to making training stick. Reach out at  and we will help you create a process that works for your company.



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