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Insights from 12,500+ real-time service recovery events at a healthcare provider

The beauty of live and on-premise transparency of patient satisfaction is that you can deal with situations in the moment, as they are happening. It's a game changer. So much so, that you almost forget that you can also take a step back every now and then, to analyze what a large number of these events are telling you. There's a lot of low hanging fruit in transparency...


We recently did this with a nationally recognized hospital that has been using JabFab for some time now, across all patient departments and facilities, parking etc.


Some surprising stats and insights fell out.


First off, patients want to share more positive feedback than negative. 65-70% of the time in fact. Praise for compassionate team members is strong. That's a lot of data to learn from and to replicate the good stuff - mentor teams, coach them, improve our workflow by dong more of the same. Who said transparency was scary? It's not. It's enriching, motivating, inspiring even.


Next up, here's the other redacted goodness we can learn from:


58.6% of the most negative patient experiences were neutralized or resolved positively when patient services teams acted on-the-spot. That's a lot of control over how patients will respond later on to CAHPS and NPS surveys, a lot of influence over reimbursement, loyalty and retention.


Interestingly... 33% of the positive real-time feedback that came in was also actionable and often contained 'backhanded compliments' that required service recovery action, as identified by smart sentiment AI/NLP during service delivery. How many times have we skipped over a positive score in a satisfaction survey, without reading the exact comments, and missed the fact that the patent was actually UNHAPPY? Or even the opposite. Now here's a great use of AI we can use every day.


Ok, onto the areas for development...


Top 5 reasons people gave negative feedback during their appointment:

* Long Wait Time or Long Wait To See Doctor or get Labs

* Staff Attitude At Front Desk or Staff Unprofessional

* Poor Communications & Scheduling Issues

* Registration Issues or Errors

* Doctor Experience Issues


What’s driving the top 20 patient experience issues during appointments?


Across these 12,500+ service events, we used a simple response management tool to capture how patient experience teams addressed and dealt with service gaps - closing the loop and tagging each event with a reason why the patient may have been unhappy. Here's the top 20 reasons and issue types we uncovered:

  1. Communication issues with COVID testing procedures and need to arrive early, versus expectation of normal wait times.

  2. Space issues in shared department areas, where crowding is a problem and requires balancing at peak times

  3. Impact of nursing staff shortages

  4. Delays due to equipment issues, where communication could have eased the frustration of patient wait times

  5. Orientation issues with new COVID services

  6. Staff needing to be more present and compassionate, especially with new services and workflow. A simple apology during times when it’s appropriate would go a long way to neutralizing patient frustration

  7. Patients feeling inadequate after desk staff lack of patience with their ability to use iPads / Kiosks or other forms of newer digital health tools

  8. Staff members not wearing COVID masks properly (or at all) and creating safety concerns among patients

  9. Hearing impaired patients experiencing delays in service, due to a lack of immediately available sign language / interpreter

  10. Staff handling of patient concerns not up to scratch and requiring coaching in how to address with empathy

  11. COVID call center teething issues around process and expectation management

  12. Handling of situations where patients may have unrealistic expectations of wait time, given the normal expected wait times for that type of care, or care that requires COVID safety controls

  13. Patients negatively disposed to service after having a bad parking / arrival experience

  14. Patients arriving without key information , forms or insurance details – impacting ability to offer timely service. Arriving for scheduled appointments to see a provider who is not there.

  15. Poor signage and orientation in certain departments, particularly arrival and check-in

  16. Gap between nurse triage and doctor arriving, particularly in pediatrics and with young kids where the patience of adults should not be expected

  17. The need to adjust / increase procedure times on the schedule, so that the wait time expectation management does not become an issue

  18. Language communication issues and the need for compassion with non-English-speaking patients

  19. Traffic flow and signage issues on arrival to the facility

  20. Being mindful of longer distances for older patients to walk within the facility and being prepared with wheelchair/transportation

Patient services teams have proven time and time again they can embrace feedback and are ready to rise to any challenge. The thought of real-time transparency may initially seem scary, but when 60-70% of it ends up with praise, its easy to relax a little and prepare to get a ton of positive reinforcement. This boost of positivity will also fuel the ability to take action in the 30-35% of the times when we are empowered to act in the moment and address service gaps or situations where compassion always wins. Here's to transparency!


#healthcare #transparency #servicequality #patientexperience #px #lessons #cahps #nps #compassion

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