Healthcare Blog

Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

The Patient Experience is Digital Too

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 12, 2016

by Kristin Baird

When we think of the patient experience, we often think of the many touchpoints during a face-to-face interaction. In today’s world, digital encounters are an important part of the overall experience as well.

This past week, my husband had a battery of tests in follow-up to a physical exam. He was a bit anxious about having the tests, and then having to wait for the results. He was both impressed and relieved to have prompt results delivered to his smartphone through the online portal. He could see the results and where he fell within the normal ranges. But what impressed him the most was that his physician also sent a personal note with a summary of her impressions and next steps – all in layman’s terms. Within 10 minutes of her note, he received a text from Walgreens that his new prescription was ready for pick up.

In this example, the digital experience included imparting information (test results) as well as reassurance and next steps provided through the personal email.

Rewind the clock a few years, and he’d still be waiting for the results that would be delivered via phone call or office visit. The waiting and wondering was stressful for patients and the follow up was often overwhelming for the providers and their staffs.

We are fortunate to be living in a world where we can use our smart phones for everything from ordering pizza to scheduling rides and appointments. In healthcare, smartphones have become the lifeline to information and engagement. My concern is that in some organizations, anything digital is technology that sits within the IT silo, rather than cross pollinating with the patient experience goals and strategies. Let’s make sure we’re talking to each other internally. We have great opportunities to continue making the patient experience more seamless, efficient and enjoyable.

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Take on Your Toughest Opponent

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 9, 2016

by Kristin Baird

For many of us, our toughest opponent isn’t our boss, co-worker, or golf rival. It’s the internal monologue playing inside our heads. The one that plays into the patient experience nearly every moment of the day is the one that says, “I don’t have time.” Saying that over and over to yourself throughout the day adds pressure, making you feel even more harried. Time is one of our most precious resources. True, it’s limited, but we all have the same number of minutes in the day. I have found that, by telling myself over and over, that I don’t have time becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I catch myself, I try to play a new message – I have time for what’s most important.

A few years ago, I was coaching some nurses on behaviors to improve the patient experience. I had suggested that, before leaving a patient’s room they stop and ask if there is anything more that they can do for the patient, adding, “I have time.”

One of the nurses in the group got very upset with me. A night nurse on the med/surge floor, she constantly felt stretched for time. She felt that by my asking her to say this, I was being insensitive to her situation and her needs. I was grateful that she brought up these concerns as it gave me the opportunity to discuss the power of self-talk.

I explained to her that, having been a night nurse myself, I understood how busy they can be. I also shared something I had learned about inner monologue or self-talk. I asked her to take a second before walking into the patient room to take a deep breath and get centered so she could be fully present to engage better. Then do the same thing before leaving the room and asking what else she could do. I encouraged her to give it a three week trial.

At the end of the three weeks she told me that doing this repeatedly actually helped her to feel calmer and more focused on her patients. She reported, “I can’t believe it. I actually feel like I have more time by saying it over and over.” She had conquered her worst enemy with her own thoughts.

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Your Prescription for Inspiration

Posted by capcityspeakers on August 18, 2015

by Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA

We all need to regroup at times to consciously seek a dose of inspiration. People who work in healthcare know how demanding it can be. Whether you are at the bedside caring for patients or working on the periphery, it’s important to know what inspires you and helps you feel connected to purpose and the mission of the organization.

A few weeks ago I had a coaching conversation with an administrator. I could tell that the pressures of her job and the nagging political rifts were taking their toll on her. When I see this, I help them take a step back and get back to what really matters. In this case, I asked her to describe her best day. A day when she knew she was doing work that matters. She was quick to recap how a trip to the NICU always helped her get centered and rejuvenated.

She lit up as she described how those tiny patients, their parents, and dedicated nurses always put her work back into perspective. She was reminded of the organization’s mission and always reconnected to purpose during each trek to the NICU.

Each of us needs to consciously seek inspiration. Working in healthcare requires it. Just as we exercise, rest, and eat a balanced diet to maintain a healthy body, we owe it to ourselves to stay rejuvenated as well. Where do you get your inspiration? Identify it and take it in regular doses.

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