Satisfaction surveys are everywhere. They may appear on the back of a grocery store receipt. They may come by e-mail after a conversation with a utility company. Patients receive satisfaction surveys, too. When hospitals or healthcare providers receive less-than-stellar satisfaction ratings, they work on figuring out how to increase those ratings.
Be a patient
When providers work in a healthcare setting day after day, it becomes familiar. They may develop tunnel vision of sorts as they go through their working routines. However, being a patient for a day – or even a few hours – can change that. Park where the patients do. See how easy it is/isn’t to get to the front door on crutches.
This experience can open providers’ eyes and minds in ways that can help them provide better and more compassionate care. Finally, do a ‘full bladder exercise.” Drink two or three liters of water [to see how] perception of a ‘reasonable delay’ between call button and response changes [with] a full bladder.
Focus on the big picture
What matters to patients? The Cleveland Clinic wanted to know, so they retained a firm to help them analyze the question. They found that three concerns topped the list: respect, good communication among staff, and happy employees. What about respect? Patients want providers to treat them like individuals and engage with them personally. This can be tough for providers who try to maintain a professional distance, but it’s a key component of patient satisfaction.
Good communication among staff is important to patients because perceived lack of communication between the doctor and the nurse leads some patients to believe that they are receiving substandard care. Why is it important for healthcare providers to be happy? It’s simple: happy providers are more approachable. That makes patients feel more comfortable asking questions.
The small stuff matters
Things that seem small to a provider can seem major to a patient, especially when the person is scared and overwhelmed. When a care provider has to keep leaving the patient’s bedside to track down supplies, it can be frustrating for everyone involved. Keeping supplies stocked appropriately can make a huge difference. Hourly rounding can have a major impact as well – it increases patient satisfaction and decreases call bell usage.
How about fluffing a pillow, smiling, or taking a minute to offer reassurance? These may seem like small gestures, but they can ease a patient’s mind in a big way. Most nurses do this automatically: they make patients feel genuinely cared for and cared about. Although these gestures may seem small, they have the potential to have a big effect on patient satisfaction surveys.
Putting it all together
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals for per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. If you can put yourself in a patient’s shoes, focus on the big issues, and take care of the small stuff, we want to talk to you. We can help you start putting it all together taking care of patients. Call us at 310.436.3650 today.