Culture of Quality Care and Service: The Impact on Patient Experience

The health care community has seen a number of significant changes in the past year, which has opened the doors for many discussions, and one of the most talked about topics is the high cost of health care. Whether you are a patient or a physician, the cost of health care has most likely impacted you.  For patients, they have started to require pricing transparency, so that they know what they are truly paying for, which places a heavier weight on the overall patient experience.  Practices are essentially going back to the drawing board to reevaluate how to instill a culture of exceptional service, reassessing their “brand” and overcoming the plateau-effect.

The first step in re-instilling a culture of care in your practice is to reevaluate the core of your practice’s belief system.  What is the most important factor of your services? Is it that you have the most up-to-date technology; your impressive turn-around time or maybe it’s your low prices?  Once you have a focus, a campaign can be built around your mission.  Your entire staff should adopt the culture of service in order to succeed and everyone should have a hand in improving the patient experience, so that they recognize your facility for that focus that sets you apart from the competition.

                 patient experience

The practice’s new mission will encompass the facility’s “brand.”  No you’re not selling cars or vacuum cleaners, but even when people do, they are selling their brand, which encompasses not only the product, but also the feeling consumers get from that product.  If what you and all of your competition are selling is health care, you have to sell a better “feeling.”  This will require a number of things, including:

-       Getting to know your patients to understand what they want

-       Leaders with service-focused visions and values

-       Consistent delivery of the message

-       Effective ways to measure success of your initiative

-       Useful development, training and coaching to achieve success

-       Constant improvement and growth

These steps will assist your practice to encompass the concept of culture you are attempting to represent, and will lead to successfully overcoming the plateau effect your practice might be experiencing in this time of health care crisis.  Often times practices think the solution is to throw money at a worthless ad campaign or try some innovative marketing technique, however sometimes it just takes going back to the basics.