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Is a patient or family member extremely frustrated with the customer service they received from one of your registrars? Or do they think it's the best registration experience they ever had?
Either way, the information is of no use to your department if the individuals don't tell you how they feel, says Gail Rust, CHAM, director of patient access at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, KY. Here are two ways Rust obtains feedback regarding the performance of her registration specialists:
A Care Gram program allows internal and external customers to complete a card to compliment the customer service they received.
Completed cards are deposited in receptacles, collected on a weekly basis, and reviewed by the hospital's Care Gram Committee, says Rust. Next, a copy is sent to the associate's manager and read at the department's next monthly meeting.
The committee votes on the winners for the month, says Rust, who are presented with a certificate, a $100 check, and congratulations from their manager, director, and sometimes members of administration. "A photo is taken and displayed in the department," she says.
Recently an associate from registration won the monthly Care Gram Award for her ability to multi-task and react quickly and appropriately, says Rust. "She was working the front desk, checking in patients, and overheard a patient on the phone tell his family member he felt he was going to have a seizure," she says.
The registrar immediately had the gentleman sit in a wheelchair, which reduced the risk of him falling, says Rust. Per the hospital's policy, she called a "code blue," which summoned clinical staff to assess the patient, she explains. "She showed amazing professionalism. The whole situation was over in a matter of minutes, due to her quick thinking," says Rust.
Many of her co-workers were present for the presentation and were included in a photograph taken, says Rust. "Being a part of this celebration was a morale booster not only for the recipient but for her co-workers as well," she says. "It was a reminder to each of them that they can be a future winner."
A comment card is placed in each cubicle in registration areas.
Registrars hand the cards to the patients at the conclusion of the registration process and ask the patients to take a minute to complete them, says Rust. [The comment card is included with the online version of this month's Hospital Access Management. Go to www.ahcmedia.com. On the right side of the page, select "Access Your Newsletters – Sign In." You will need your subscriber ID from your mailing label. For assistance, contact customer service at (800) 688-2421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.] "Prior to the development of these cards, we knew our customers had the opportunity to share their experience at a later date through a survey," Rust says. "We also knew many did not share "Prior to the development of these cards, we knew our customers had the opportunity to share their experience at a later date through a survey," Rust says. "We also knew many did not share."
Patients need the opportunity to offer their input while the registration process is fresh in their mind, she says. "We are planning to introduce them at all sites shortly," Rust says. "Unlike the Care Gram program which is intradepartmental, this card is specific to registration."
The card allows the customer to grade the service they received by registrars, and they can write a narrative if they wish, says Rust. "These cards are used to provide feedback to the registration specialist by their manager," she says. "We have actually received more positive comments than negative ones."
Managers share all negative comments with the employee, says Rust, and all positive and negative comments are read aloud at staff meetings, without identifying the recipient of any complaints. Rust reports that comments have ranged from complimenting "how nice the associate was" to "you need additional Emergency Department parking."
"Obviously, some things are within patient access management's ability to change, and some are not," says Rust. "However, we value the customer's opinion. We pass their suggestions to the proper person when appropriate."
For more information on customer feedback about patient access, contact:
Gail Rust, CHAM, Director of Patient Access, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood, KY. Phone: (859) 301-7829. E-mail: email@example.com.