Welcoming back The "Care" in Healthcare
The beginning of a national trend: making “YOU” count again in HealthCare
Ever hear someone recommend a doctor with this phrase? “He is an amazing doctor, but his bedside manner is terrible.” This is slowly becoming unacceptable in the healthcare industry. Why should customer service be an afterthought in the Healthcare industry? When checking into a hotel or being greeted at a hair salon, good customer service is must. No one wants to stay at a hotel where they are not treated like royalty and no one wants to get “pampered” where they feel like a bother to the employees. In fact if you have a negative experience, chances are you will never stay at that hotel or go to that salon again. Furthermore, without a doubt you will blast social media with how awful your experience was so everyone else will know where not to go. Why should customer service within a healthcare organization be any different? For years patients accepted subpar customer service for amazing clinical results, but not anymore. Doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are now beginning to realize that they are now not only responsible for providing excellent clinical care, but ensuring patients are having a positive experience as well. A handful of select elite Healthcare Organizations have been rolling out a brand new concept in top level administration. They are now appointing CXO’s, Chief Experience officers, who report straight to the CEO. This position is to oversee overall patient experience. This position is important not just for patients and their families, but for staff as well. It creates a culture and transparency within the building. It creates an environment where nurses know that in addition to providing the best possible nursing care, they are also expected to provide empathy, physical, and emotional support to both patients and families. Visible support from the administration is key to successful experience campaigns. With Social Media influence we see that word of mouth is the best form of marketing, it always has been, so you would think that making sure patients are happy would be a given. Many healthcare organizations are so focused on providing excellence in quality healthcare, that they do not realize that positive health related outcomes may not always translate into an overall positive experience. Patients do not want to be labeled and treated as their diagnosis, they are humans, who have different wants and needs. These patients are most likely going through a very difficult time and need emotional support and something as simple as a smile when they are feeling down will make all the difference. In fact, people are more likely to choose a doctor, hospital, or healthcare organization based on personal experience. Patients want to know that they will be greeted by a friendly staff and that doctors and staff will be available to them when needed. Since day one, AristaCare put an emphasis on customer service, and it is nice to see this vision is becoming little by little an industry standard by major HealthCare Organizations. Our first Director of Quality Experience was our Executive Director, Robert Greenberger. Due to his kind and caring nature, this position happened by default. He checked on patients daily and upon hearing the littlest thing that they were not happy with, he jumped on it. From bringing someone Greek yogurt daily to buying someone a mirror so they could confidently go down to the therapy knowing they looked nice. These items may seem small, but they made the patients feel special. They felt that we cared for them as people not as medical charts. Patients knew that Robert, the brother of the CEO, was available by cell phone and he didn’t just pretend to care, he truly did care. This customer service experience became known throughout the facility. Staff knew that Robert would be rounding and if there were issues, he would know. Before you knew it everyone was reporting needs and wants of patients simply because they wanted to beat the big boss to it! It is a beautiful concept that happened naturally and started from the most genuine place… someone caring! Today, all AristaCare buildings are staffed with a Director of Quality Experience who report directly to the administrator. This position created transparency within AristaCare facilities and is constantly helping to improve systems, imperfections, and at the end of the day we are providing better healthcare because of it. How rewarding it is to see that the concept of CXO or DQE that was rolled out in 2008 in a small town in Ocean County is now beginning to pick up traction with the most prestigious names in health care.
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