Improving the Patient Experience Through Collaborative Action Planning

Improving the patient experience is the right thing to do, on every level.

The added wrinkle is the new level of complexity soon to be presented through HCAHPS, which will introduce a financial imperative as described in the PPAC Act with Value-Based Purchasing.

While process improvements can and will make significant improvements in the patient experience (assuming that the myriad of interlocking and often complex root-causes can be isolated and systemmatically removed), there remains a critical 'missing link'...the human element.

....and it is here that almost every process improvement fails.

Let's learn from our colleagues in our other service industries who've mastered complete organizational transformation. Every single case has involved a process redesign, as well as an organization-wide, top-down/bottom-up commitment to service and solving the non-flow-able problems that routinely occur in service businesses.

If it's a people business, the transformation solution must involve the organization's people (or it will stall).

Successful organizations in the service sector (not just healthcare) make service a foundational element of the culture of the organization. It's part of the DNA of the place:
  • Dissatisfaction is taken personally and resolved quickly, with deep and sincere apology
  • Once the dissatisfaction is resolved, the case is reviewed, traced and every stakeholder or potential stakeholder is brought into the performance improvement team with an equal voice...to assure the situation never arises again

Other service organizations with vibrant (fanatical?) devotion to their customers implement a 'preventive' collaborative action planning process that might take the form of daily huddles that address the issues of the day, rumors, things that may cause disruption, etc. This highly effective communication process takes no more than5-10 minutes, and can serve the dual purposes of communicating news and problem avoidance.

These daily 5-10 minute huddles are:

  1. Inexpensive
  2. Amazingly effective at enhancing communication
  3. Excellent forums to 'get the antennae up' related to key performance indicators
  4. Not conducted by 99% of all service organizations

We'd be happy to share an outline of a process for this method of engaging frontline employees in problem avoidance and resolution, to create a vibrant service-driven culture that reflects in your HCAHPS performance and (very soon) in your Medicare Reimbursement under Value-Based Purchasing.

For more info, please visit us at http://www.customlearning.com/ or call us at 1800.667.7325.

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