Saint Francis Medical Center (OSF) is the fourth largest medical center in Illinois. Its Outpatient Ambulatory Care Unit operates over 30 clinics throughout Central Illinois. They offer a broad range of services, including breast imaging, breast biopsy, lab, EKG, x-ray, CT, ultrasound, MRI, rehab, wound center, pain center, bariatric, health fitness/wellness and occupational health. Patient satisfaction is a priority at OSF. It reflects how willing doctors and nurses are to listen, answer questions and explain treatments; how friendly and helpful registration was and whether patients were seen in a timely fashion.
OSF ambulatory operations use a nationally recognized evaluation firm to monitor out-patient performance of its staff. During 2008 and 2009 OSF ambulatory patient satisfaction was not improving. Mean scores were locked in the 92nd percentile area. Traditional paper surveys, representing 25% of the patients, are mailed to their homes 30 days after they receive treatment. They experience a return rate of approximately 7%. With the small sample size and delay in receiving survey outcomes, OSF felt they were not getting information they needed to address issues affecting the patient experience. Further, reports were not received until the following month resulting in an inability to respond quickly to service problems. “We were charged with finding a way to increase these patient satisfaction scores but at the time could not find a solution” explained Rick Thomas, Executive Director of Ambulatory Services for OSF.
An additional problem for outpatient visitors – many of whom visit the same care facility several times a month – was matching survey results to the specific visit and service modality. Given these issues, OSF Ambulatory services were looking at different approaches to effectively measure staff performance and quickly implement changes necessary to improve patient satisfaction scores.
Rick Thomas was intrigued by the innovative technology CFS has for patient experience tracking. “We needed to increase the number of survey responses and generate faster response rates to more quickly respond to patient feedback,” Thomas said. “CFS let us immediately measure staff-patient interaction, which in turn, helped us more closely engage and energize our staff.” From the wide variety of services offered by Customer Feedback Systems, OSF selected a comprehensive data intake, monitoring and reporting package based on the CFS “5×5” Touchpad. It consists of 5 separate questions that measure patient satisfaction on a scale of 1- 5. Patients simply push the appropriate button to indicate their response while they are at the clinic. OSF placed the Touchpads in locations where clinicians interact with patients.
The Touchpads require no staff to operate and are completely anonymous for the patient. While some surveys utilize pre-determined questions, CFS gives clients the flexibility to develop their own question sets, even by location. This allows them to focus on what is of value to them and their patients.
OSF used a single set of questions in order to provide common internal benchmarking across its diverse range of clinics. OSF management formed a committee to evaluate the information they needed which resulted in survey questions based on Studer Group’s AIDETSM (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You) training they had received. With the support of CFS they established guidelines for processing and acting on the results to achieve maximum benefit. CFS helped design user friendly display graphics for the CFS Touchpads and provided training to OSF management and staff.
With the CFS patient feedback approach program, it is easy to add additional devices and locations. OSF initially signed a standard 1-year agreement and launched the program at a single facility. When they saw the dramatic improvement in response time and how fast it allowed them to react, they quickly expanded the program to 85 monitoring devices in 30 service locations. There is a broad menu of customizable services offered by CFS that can be adapted as customer needs dictate. The CFS team is always on-hand to work with clients on turning customer feedback into improved performance. They offer on-going training as well as regular user group meetings for their clients to share best practices and continually evolve the program to meet changing needs of the client.
Starting in 2008, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Management directed all hospital-based ambulatory care programs in its network to utilize the CFS system. To establish a baseline, OSF collected data for the first 6 months but did not act on the feedback. Compared to the mail-out surveys, OSF achieved a much higher response rate with CFS. Responses exceeded 45% with over 10,000 patients per month using the Touchpad. Even the smallest clinics saw a dramatic increase in responses. Management can see patient feedback by service location, modality and time of day then link it to specific staffing. They are able to accurately pinpoint issues and address them immediately. This has improved customer service and generated more staff involvement. As a result of timely feedback, OSF Management is able to coach employees on improving patient service in a timely manner and reward employees for doing a good job.
The positive results in patient loyalty scores achieved through the CFS program also drove improved mail- out survey scores that had remained stagnant during 2008 & 2009. The changes OSF implemented by responding to high response volume, and timely information, improved Net Promoter Scores (‘Likelihood to Recommend’ question) improved from 86.0% in 2009 to 94.0% in 2011. During the same timeframe, OSF’s mean scores from the mail-out survey improved for the first time to 95%. Improved patient satisfaction that OSF has achieved is being used by OSF to market their services. OSF Management is very pleased with the CFS program and support that continues to help them improve, sustain and quickly respond to patient-staff experiences throughout their ambulatory facilities.
Customer Feedback Systems provides data collection tools and technology that enable companies to quickly understand and respond to changing customer views. These tools provide a way to capture raw feedback in real time. They accurately report how customers perceive your company, services or staff performance to help you respond efficiently and effectively. Feedback is easily obtained using hand-held or fixed-point touch pad devices at the point service. And the proprietary CFS Data Collection App is compatible with any smart phone, tablet or PC.