Patient Satisfaction Initiative:
Here’s Your 4-Week Plan

You’ve got 2,000 things to do this week and patient satisfaction keeps falling into the “important, but not yet critical” bucket. Finding the time to plan your strategy for improving patient satisfaction seems impossible.

Here’s a four-week plan to get you started. Each week, you will have three tasks to accomplish: a team meeting, 2) action assignments that move you closer to patient satisfaction, and 3) gracious communication strategies for your entire team to incorporate.

At your Week 1 team meeting, distribute copies of your patient satisfaction survey to your colleagues and ask them to complete the surveys as they think your patients would.

Use your own survey, or use the Government’s evidence-based CAHPS surveys.

For example, if you are practice-based and don’t have a patient satisfaction survey, you can use the Clinician- Group survey published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at https://www.cahps.ahrq.gov.

Look for the “Download CAHPS Kits” on the left hand toolbar.

Say, “Please complete the survey the way you think Mr. Average Patient would rate us.”  If you are using practitioner-specific surveys (good for you if you are!) ask “Please complete the survey the way you think Ms. Average Patient would rate you a few days after a visit.”

The gap between your team’s ratings and the highest possible ratings can be your improvement target. This team approach to identifying opportunities for improvement gives everyone the chance to feel a part of the initiative’s success.

A key to successfully using the four-week plan is to provide reminders to complete the action items. Ask your team what kind of reminders work best for them. Recognize those who demonstrate the behaviors and work on the plan.

Post a list of the changes you make, along with any positive feedback received from patients, family members and/or staff.

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