At the Belmond and Clarion Hospital Governing Board meetings Tuesday, we talked about the importance of filling out the surveys. I mentioned that we have been doing a lot of training and discussion with the staff to introduce the survey to the patient in the visit and explain the importance of the survey – in essence, engaging the patient to help with improvement by giving us their ideas and suggestions. I felt pretty good about all of us doing this when we see or talk to the patients in the clinic or hospital or to outpatients … because we have been focusing on this heavily over the past several months. The Board members stated (several of them) that in their recent visits not one staff person in any visit mentioned anything about a survey. (……..extremely long awkward pause …….)
( … still pausing …) What? OK, for those of you who haven’t been listening, if we don’t introduce and engage the patient, the following will happen:
The satisfied patient will throw away the survey, because obviously surveys don’t mean anything; if they were that important someone surely would have said something. Or, the patient is upset about something and will fill out the survey negatively.
Our participation percentage will be so low there will only show the negative surveys.
Since we market heavily on being a fantastic place to receive care and we use the great surveys and subsequent awards to show people that we truly are great … since only people with negative comments fill out the surveys, because we didn’t engage the happy ones, we get no awards (i.e. marketing).
People stop seeking us out because we are considered average.
This isn’t about me. This isn’t about awards. This isn’t about anything but keeping all of us (yes, you) employed. This is about creating something sustainable and amazing.
People have said that talking about the surveys is like asking for a tip or a compliment … it’s not. It is about quality assurance and highlighting things we can do to become better. If you really have an issue with talking about it – get over it, it’s part of your job.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO