A senior healthcare executive who recently transitioned from a successful career in another industry made an interesting comment after being part of a major health system for a few months. She asked, “Why is it that hospitals insist on comparing benchmark performance data only with other hospitals?” “Let’s face it” she added, “The service management system is broken so why compare our performance against other broken entities?”
To be clear, our healthcare delivery system
per se is among the best in the world. We are leaders in cutting edge research, technology and clinical outcome. However, this was a provocative and maybe even profound snippet aimed at customer service management. At Nearterm
, we understand the prevailing conventional wisdom that requires benchmarking comparisons to “like” healthcare facilities. It does have value. However, our patients compare us to all of the other service providers they interact with when considering customer service. They compare us to delivery companies, department stores, contractors, banks, utility companies and many others. Next time you are focused on benchmarking your organization, see how you compare to non-healthcare providers. Do not stop at being the best among what some consider to be a a “service management system that is broken”. Instead, be the best among all service providers, all industries. What a great way to build patient and community loyalty!
Nearterm’s revenue cycle team
can help you develop a patient financial services strategy
that will enable your organization to advance from patient satisfaction to patient loyalty. It is patient loyalty that ultimately drives market share and financial success. Call and speak directly with one of our Principals about the process and how it might be of value to you.
Jim Matthews; Principal
For years, revenue cycle professionals
have been concerned with “patient satisfaction”. We conduct surveys, measure change and react to it as we design our delivery systems and work with our front line people. This has come about largely because we recognize that patients are progressively more involved in choosing their providers. But have you ever stopped to think about what it means for a customer to be “satisfied”? It means you have “fulfilled their expectations”, you have been “sufficient” or perhaps “adequate”. Satisfied patients are not usually the ones that are speaking favorably of your services and you are one mistake away from losing them. They are not loyal, just satisfied.
I submit that Patient Satisfaction is not enough in today’s competitive market; Patient Loyalty is a more important goal. “Loyal Customers” can be described differently than “Satisfied Customers”. Think of loyal customers in terms like “devoted attachment”, “steadfast allegiance” and “faithful”. These customers will come back to your facility, speak highly of your services and people and help you maintain and grow your share of the market you serve. I am sure you can think of a business or service you are loyal to, differentiating those that have simply met your expectations. Which would you recommend to your friends?
can help you advance from having satisfied customers to having loyal patients. The revenue cycle has everything to do with the patient experience. The continuum starts with that first exposure to your organization and leads to patient loyalty. It includes pre-admission, patient access, patient billing, patient accounting, health information management, utilization management and others. Let us talk with you about a practical approach that will help your hospital amass a loyal patient following.
Jim Matthews; Principal