What Radiology Imaging Leaders Can Learn from the Hospitality Industry to Help Improve Patient Satisfaction


http://www.medicalimagingtalk.com/category/radiology/Healthcare leaders can take a lesson from their hospitality counterparts to improve overall patient satisfaction. In the radiology imaging industry, patient feedback can contribute to higher quality of care – and few professionals know more about customer feedback than those within the hospitality industry.

Quality of care is everything in both industries. Nearly 6 percent of a hospital’s Medicare reimbursement is tied to its patients’ quality of care scores. Patient satisfaction has an inverse correlation with medical malpractice risk, and patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to follow doctors’ orders and therefore have positive outcomes.

Bottom line: patient satisfaction is crucial. Here are some examples for healthcare leaders from the hospitality industry that help improve it.

Focus on Patient Outcomes

The best hotel staff members are constantly focused on enhancing customer service. Hotel Services professionals will find whatever it is that guests seek, from theater tickets to babysitters, so guests have a positive stay.

In your radiology department, every employee should focus on creating successful outcomes and surpassing patient expectations.

Develop a renewed emphasis on the importance of patient outcomes and satisfaction in your department with one of the following methods:

  • Encourage radiologists to spend time speaking with patients and explaining study results
  • Facilitate radiologists’ participation on multidisciplinary teams, which have been found to help improve quality of care as well.

“A particularly crucial aspect of great patient service is ensuring that every employee — from orientation onward — understands her particular underlying purpose in your organization and appreciates its importance,” said Micah Solomon, Forbes author and customer satisfaction expert. Solomon suggests that hospital staff be encouraged to go out of their way to be hospitable and take extra steps when necessary that help improve patient outcomes.

Encourage Consistent Patient Feedback

Hotels often leave small questionnaire cards in guests’ rooms, asking for scores and feedback. It’s a simple and effective way to get feedback from customers.

D.C.’s Sibley Memorial Hospital has successfully adopted this tactic, using small sheets of card stock that prompt patients to ask questions at discharge. The hospital then used these responses to improve patient satisfaction.

However, to their surprise, they found that the cards alone had a positive effect. Patient satisfaction at discharge increased from the 47th percentile to the 66th percentile of all hospitals in two months.

Radiology imaging leaders can work with their teams to identify how to acquire valuable patient feedback as well.

Ensure Transparent Communications with Hospital Colleagues

In the hospitality industry, hotel staff regularly read emails from customers. They also send kudos and feedback to housekeeping, staff and the concierge as they work to improve customer satisfaction.

In the healthcare industry, a recent study found that frequent feedback from patients helps physicians improve patient satisfaction scores. In the study, a hospital increased how often physicians were emailed about their patients’ satisfaction rates.

Before the study, physicians were told about their scores a few times a year. During the study, physicians received frequent, real-time emails containing patient satisfaction scores. The result was an 8 percent increase in positive responses from physician interactions. The hospital also saw a 7 percent increase in patient recommendations.

Develop a process for giving regular feedback to your radiology services team.  Consistent feedback on patient satisfaction rates is likely to have a positive effect.

Use Available Radiology Imaging Tools

Hotel services professionals use a variety of electronic and/or online resources to improve guests’ stays. For example, they may join elite concierge networks that allow them to locate in-demand theater tickets or restaurant reservations.

What tools and connections does your radiology department have that help improve patient satisfaction?

  • Radiology imaging solutions include alerts that notify clinicians about missed appointments. Patients can be contacted to schedule recommended follow-up care.
  • Workflows notify referring physicians about critical results so they can, for instance, work with an elderly patient’s caregivers to create a comprehensive care plan.

The hospitality industry has valuable lessons that can help radiology services provide increased patient satisfaction. Focusing on outcomes, requesting feedback, communicating with your internal team and using tools can help your department boost patient satisfaction scores.

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