From the July 2019 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine
Patient experience is becoming increasingly important. It’s a trend that isn’t only impacting imaging departments but healthcare providers as a whole.
Michael Jordan, MHA, CRA, RT(R), director of imaging services at Atrium Health Union and Crystal Parlier, RT(R), (M), director of imaging services at Atrium Health Lincoln spoke to HealthCare Business News about how two hospitals within a single healthcare system in North Carolina made significant gains in improving the overall patient experience
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HCB News: You have had some unique successes regarding patient experience at your hospitals. From a top level perspective, what changes did you make and when did you know you were getting the right results?
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From the beginning this has been about changing the culture in the department. While there is a lot of talk about patient first always, the accountability that is necessary to create and maintain this culture was the genesis of the journey.
We, the leadership, not only role modeled it, but had to remove barriers that teammates brought to us. Removal of barriers meant that there was no excuse for teammates not to be accountable for their actions. They had the tools in their patient experience tool box, now they were being held accountable to use them, and do so consistently.
We saw the scores going up into the top decile. We got patient comments back from surveys about the great experience that was had. This was not how I knew the culture had changed. The day that I overheard a teammate talking with a peer, encouraging them with ways to get their scores up was the day I knew we had a changed culture. The teammates fully owned the experience their patients were receiving in our department. It isn’t always easy – process changes usually aren’t. But teammates, not leadership, have taken the lead in finding out what is happening and making changes so that the patient has the best experience.
Lincoln started a Patient Experience Champion Team late in 2015. In 2016, we started meeting weekly and concentrating on some areas that we were struggling in. Action plans were put in place and we invited more front-line staff to the meeting. With front-line staff there, we knew that we were truly getting the staff and patients feedback on how or what we needed to improve to make our department better and the experience that our patients have while receiving care with us a great one.