Part 2 of 7: Make lemonade from lemons
7 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction
What to do when things get sour
Embrace negative feedback.
- What this looks like: Instead of focusing on placing blame or covering up process problems, take courage and open up communication. Invite those in your company who can affect change to be part of the conversation. Identify what success looks like and where the process may be breaking down. Make an action plan to address issues and plan for follow up.
- What this does: By embracing negative feedback, you can begin to build renewed trust with your patients.
Acknowledge problems, then work to fix them.Patients do not expect perfection, but they do want you to acknowledge fault and to take steps to correct it from happening again.
- What this looks like: Making mistakes is part of the human condition. However, before you can stop repeating a mistake, you first must come to the realization that something didn't go right. Regardless of who is to blame, it is essential to sincerely face the fact that the patient or family member experienced something that caused them to feel unhappy with the situation.
- What this does: When you are able to acknowledge that something went wrong, regardless of who is to blame, you can begin to change the situation. By acknowledging that something went wrong, you help to validate their feelings. It also helps you to be able to move the experience aside and begin cleaning up any unresolved concerns and problems.
Adopt a problem-solving attitude.Remember, no one receives perfect scores all the time. One reason for the customer satisfaction survey is to measure improvement, not to impress.
- What this looks like: The process to perfection is a bumpy one. Those who have an attitude that they are still learning are the ones who typically find greater levels of success because they continue to problem solve.
- What this does: By creating a problem-solving attitude, you can find solutions to issues you may not think are solvable.
Look for underlying problems if the same issue keeps showing up.
- What this looks like: Finding and resolving the root problem in a complex issue is not always easy to do. Receiving negative feedback about an issue you're aware of but so far have been unsuccessful at resolving can be frustrating, especially if your compensation is directly connected with the survey feedback.
- What you can do: First of all, take a moment to give yourself some positive feedback and encouragement. Complex problems don't go away overnight. Typically, they also require the cooperation and brainpower of more than one person. If you're stumped on how to get going to resolve a problem, take a moment to look at these great problem solving tips for complex business problems from the CBS Money Watch website. In addition to this, please remember that we are always here to help you. If you have questions about your reports, please let us know.
For more ways to improve patient satisfaction, visit part 3: Bragging Right.