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Eight Ways To Optimize Your Patient Feedback

Healthcare organizations today understand the growing correlation between staff engagement, patient loyalty and overall organizational growth.

The fundamental reason for this is loyalty is a behavior not just a mindset. And there are four patient loyalty behaviors that drive growth:

  1. If a patient needs the service you provided them again, they will come back to your system, clinic or medical group.
  2. If a patient needs additional services that you provide, they will think of you first and as their all-encompassing healthcare provider.
  3. Patients will speak positively about you to friends, family, colleagues and in their community at large.
  4. Patient will give you their most precious asset which is their time and willingness to give you their feedback on both positive experiences as well as areas for improvement. This growing correlation is being driven by the internet and social media. There was a time when we would say a good service experience and the patient would tell 3 people. A bad one and they will tell 7 to 10 people. Those days are well behind us. Now with social media as well as online publishing of scores, a person with a bit of influence can tell 1000 or more people with a few clicks.

There was a time when we would say a good service experience and the patient would tell 3 people. A bad one and they will tell 7 to 10 people. Those days are well behind us. Now with social media as well as online publishing of scores, a person with a bit of influence can tell 1000 or more people with a few clicks. Word-of-mouth economics have been greatly magnified.

The patient experience is key to the success of healthcare organizations.  One key way to impact the lagging indicators of HCAHPS and social media posts is by focusing on the moments while you have your patients at the point-of-care.

We have the privilege of working with many great healthcare organizations including Mayo Clinic, OSF, Tenet, Alegent Creighton and Healthcare Partners to name a few. 

About 24 months ago, we decided to try to understand why some organizations can utilize patient and staff feedback to drive and achieve their business goals, while other organizations struggle to get staff buy-in and patient participation. 

We uncovered 8 key implementation strategies that optimize point-of-care patient feedback systems:

  1. Leadership should not take a traditional, compensation-based, punitive approach to this type of feedback.  Its main purpose should be to uncover and remove team roadblocks.
  2. The organization needs to make a strong business case for tools and technology.  This ensures that the adequate resources are provided to  set up the team for success.
  3. Deploy quick, easy and convenient ways to listen to patients and teams.
  4. Build comprehensive communication campaigns that inform both teams and as well as patient of the importance of honest feedback.
  5. Feedback questionnaires should be about the patient and team priorities. Questions being asked should be important to the patient and actionable by the teams.
  6. Focus on creating an environment in which staff can set and achieve their goals rather than just moving a score.
  7. Patient Experience Reporting should be designed to drive action first and analysis second.
  8. Follow-up with patients and staff who have taken the time to give feedback, and also inform the ones who haven’t given feedback about what you’ve learned and what you are doing about it.

Please click here to download your copy of Rewarding Complaints

Gautam R Mahtani, 
Loyalty StrategistTM and Co-Founder

Socialize

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