Ask (the patient) and Ye Shall Receive (the answer)

Does this sound like your business?

If we implement Program ABC, all our customers will be happy! If we launch Initiative DEF, our retention will soar! If we execute Super Idea XYZ, we’ll have raving fans!

These concepts are often initiated by business people who are very smart; the problem is that they think they’re so smart that they know what the customer wants; unfortunately, they didn’t do the most important thing – ask they customer what they want.

The FierceHealthcare article Patient care makeovers improve quality outcomes notes what hospitals are beginning to do differently to improve patient satisfaction. The article states that “These efforts include creating senior-level positions to lead patient experience initiatives; a “sacred moment” checklist that calls for staff to discuss patients’ hopes and concerns about their stay while gathering key information; shadowing patients and families at every step in the episode of care to find areas for improvement; and discussions with patients at admission about patient safety, including good hand-hygiene practices and medication administration.”

It also states that Twin Rivers hospital “took several steps to fix patient satisfaction, the most important being the ‘sacred moment checklist,’ according to amednews. The moment patients arrive in their inpatient rooms healthcare staff go over key questions and provide essential safety information. Nurses ask about their pain and dietary and spiritual needs.”

There are two key points amidst all these “sacred moment” concepts. First, ask the patient what they expect. Second, deliver on expectations. The hospitals are not improving patient satisfaction with some grand marketing campaign (although they obviously branded this initiative).

Instead, they are simply asking what each individual patient expects, getting that answer, and addressing that expectation.

Don’t over think patient satisfaction. Ask, and Ye Shall Receive.

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