Have you ever received a survey, looked at it and said to yourself, "does anyone really care about these things?" Well, we have learned over the past 20 years that customer and employee satisfaction is the difference between repeat business or a loss of business, and a satisfied or a dissatisfied employee.
Think about the dry cleaner who ruins a dress, and you don't go back. The restaurant that ruins a meal, and worse, acts as if they don't care. A health provider who never introduces him or herself and acts disinterested...all result in people choosing to continue or move on.
But the business that listens and tries to repair the damage, demonstrating it will improve, continues to get your business. I had shopped at Green Hills for years until my family needed dairy free products and I could only find them at another store. I mentioned to the owner that he didn't carry these, and he said stop next week. Sure enough, there in the diary case was exactly what I had asked for. Back I came.
One of my favorite bosses was Nick Pirro. As County Executive he always took time to show interest in his employees, offering ideas and feedback in a way that was never threatening. One day when touring a doll factory the owner asked us if there was a little girl he could send a doll to and what was her name. Without hesitation he said, Elizabeth, the name of my daughter . Well, I still remember how thrilled I was he thought of her and she still has that doll. It was a small thing, but for me it showed he knew how important my family was to me.
How do we understand the voice of the patient, the voice of our physicians, and the voice of our employees? Do we listen to comments and engage in addressing those concerns? How exactly do we do that?
For many years we have used satisfaction surveys as a way to judge how we are doing and identify the changes we need to address. We have tried a variety of different survey tools, some internal, some external, such as Press Ganey, and still are trying to find what we think gives us accurate, actionable information.
Next week we will be trying a new approach to employee feedback, asking the entire organization over one week to respond to the same survey tool. We believe its a better way to hear the voice of our employees and develop a plan for improvement. The results are examined carefully by our senior team and we look forward to hearing our staff members' feedback!
In coming months we will also be looking at the patient experience, creating a patient and family advisory committee, and continuing rounding and post discharge calls.
The feedback of our employees, patients and medical staff is important to our future and directly impacts our quality of care. Thanks in advance for your input!