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How Can We Increase Employee Ownership of the Patient Survey Tool?

Question

At our hospital we have low staff buy in and ownership of the patient satisfaction surveys. The process doesn’t mean anything to the staff. I would like to know things that managers can do to get buy in for the patient satisfaction surveys.

Answer

Here are some quick tips:

  • Call the results “The Patients’ and Families’ Perception of Care.” In radiology, we don’t call the MRI results the Phillip, or some other vendor name. By referencing the survey tool by vendor, you remove the people who fill it in from the equation. When I am in a hospital, I ask the staff if they know what everyone who fills in a survey has in common. The answer? They have all been touched by someone at the hospital. Connect the patient to the staff, not to the vendor or tool.
  • Read the questions to the staff. The questions are not about minor issues but core clinical competencies. The competencies are response to call lights, management of pain, information about care, and home care instructions. It is crucial that the leader connect the survey back to staff.
  • Look for the good. When a patient is admitted, assure her that you want to provide very good care. Discuss what the patient and her family feel that care will look like. This allows the staff to know what the patient is looking for and provides time for education of patient and family.
  • Focus staff on one question and how they can improve patient perception of that particular area.
  • In discharge phone calls, let the patient know you like to recognize staff members who have provided very good care. Collect names and recognize these staff members. Then let the person know he will be getting a survey and should complete it as it helps you capture what went well and identifies areas that need improvement. Encourage him to write any names of staff members he would like to see recognized.
  • Use percentile comparisons, not raw or mean score. Staff will more easily see this move.
  • Look at results weekly. When you see good weeks, recognize staff and review what is being done to get such positive feedback. This creates a success template. It helps you determine what’s working.