It is difficult for most patients to distinguish between good and mediocre medical care for most services. However, patients are very adept at judging how they are treated as a customer. When patients are able to choose where to receive their Hospital Medicine (HM) service, their past experience, or the experience their friends and family, is a significant factor in their decision. HospitalMD believes patients hold physicians to a higher standard than other providers; and therefore, physician behavior carries a heavier weight in the patient’s decision of where to “shop”. So providers must model excellent behavior.
HospitalMD believes good customer service is integral to, and consistent with, revenue growth; not unrelated.
Excellent satisfaction and excellent financial results are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, the choice is not which you choose to achieve; but how to achieve both. HospitalMD believes good customer service is integral to, and consistent with, revenue growth; not unrelated. This is why since its inception HospitalMD has incorporated training in the techniques of behavior to our providers as an integral part of how we maximize revenue.
HospitalMD Approach to Patient Satisfaction
Most of us believe we interact well with others and provide good customer service on all occasions. If true, there should be no customer complaints. But this must not be universally true since there are complaints. With HCAHPS scores having a significant impact on a hospital’s reimbursement, establishing a Patient Satisfaction program that effectively provides each physician with the tools necessary to provide superior patient satisfaction scores is imperative. So, how does HospitalMD achieve superior patient satisfaction? Through a dedication to communication.
HospitalMD has created a training and management system that holds each physician accountable for patient satisfaction through communication.
There is no secret to low or high patient satisfaction scores within the hospital. The biggest complaints always center around communication. Whether the patient doesn’t feel they were treated with respect, whether they understood the care that was provided, or if they understood the discharge instructions, communication is the root of each of these issues. That is why HospitalMD has created a training and management system that holds each physician accountable for patient satisfaction through communication.
Each person has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to interacting and communicating with other people. Our recruiting process utilizes well established personality evaluation instruments to help us find physicians that exhibit specific personality traits, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t need individual coaching. That is why we employ multiple methods to coach each physician individually. Their orientation process utilizes video demonstrations of expected interactions between the physician and patient. This helps demonstrate techniques such as introducing yourself when entering the room, establishing eye contact while introducing rather than looking down at a chart, explaining your role as a Hospitalist and how you work with their PCP to make sure they receive the best care, communicating your plan for the entire stay as well as for that particular day, etc.
In addition to the videos, each physician works alongside the Medical Director during their orientation and will round on patients together. The Medical Director is able to demonstrate in person what the expectations of interacting with the patients are, and then allow the physician to participate in the process. This side by side demonstration allows the Medical Director to use this time as a baseline for all future training with the physician.
Physicians dedicated to increasing patient experiences through interpersonal skills.
At a minimum, HospitalMD works with and evaluates each physician during their shift. This allows us to work with our physician directly in a number of different areas, including patient interaction techniques. This consistent focus reinforces the importance of our commitment to patient satisfaction with our physicians, resulting in physicians dedicated to increasing patient experiences through interpersonal skills in addition to their outstanding clinical care.
Hospital and Medical Staff Communication
Communication may start with the patient, but it certainly does not end there. The reality is nurses will spend more time with the patient than the physician will. Because of this, HospitalMD implements daily mandatory patient care meetings with appropriate hospital staff. This includes nurses, clinical dieticians, utilization management, pharmacy, and other interdisciplinary members when available. These meetings allow the entire care team to be able to share vital information and allow each member of the team to be involved in and know the plan of care. This allows the communication from any member of the team to be consistent, resulting in less confusion by the patient while receiving information from multiple sources.
Communication with the local Medical staff is extremely important to our approach in improving patient satisfaction.
Communication with the local Medical staff is extremely important to our approach in improving patient satisfaction. The results of this communication generally aren’t felt immediately, but the value is felt in the long run. That is why we have created a systematic approach to both admission and discharge communication with the local Medical staff. We also invite the Medical staff to join in on our monthly meetings with our physicians to discuss opportunities for improvement, or just to sit in and hear what is being offered. The attendance of any of the Medical staff at these meetings helps us earn their trust, which they communicate with their patients. This allows us to truly be an extension of their practice, resulting in happier patients!
Why do we do it?
Our clients often express amazement at our ability to change customer service behaviors with physicians. They also acknowledge the effort it takes and will ask us why do we put that much effort into it? The answer is simple: it’s the right thing to do and it benefits everyone. The reality is that every HM group has the same pool of physicians to choose from, and the only way to get better results is through a deeper level of commitment.
We refuse to leave your financial success to chance!
So if we want to create long lasting relationships with our clients based on successful performance, we need to be committed to working with physicians to achieve superior customer service. Otherwise, we are no different than other HM groups, and we would be hoping to get lucky by finding only the best customer service skilled physician. We refuse to leave your financial success to chance!
HospitalMD’s commitment to patient satisfaction provides our clients with the ability to maximize their revenue, and provides the patients with the customer service they deserve.
Contact us today to learn more!