What better time than Halloween to reflect on the myriad of scary monsters that health care organizations now face year-round! Here’s a look at some of the scary monsters we’ve encountered this year as we’ve worked with clients to help boost the patient experience across the care continuum.

Lapses in safety or quality

The specter of a safety or quality lapse is frightening, indeed. Providing safe, high quality care is the primary focus of health care providers who work tirelessly to ensure the best care for their patients. Lapses happen, though. When they do they need to be addressed transparently and, importantly, they need to be used as a learning opportunity to make process improvements to avoid such lapses in the future. TruthPoint’s Coach Advisors work with healthcare organizations to help them implement process improvement initiatives that achieve measurable results.

A reduction in your patient experience scores

The bite from this scary monster really hurts, particularly with reimbursement being impacted more and more by our ability to provide high quality care that results in satisfied patients. Constant vigilance is required here. One monster can quickly metastasize into a raging horde if left to spread unhindered by appropriate interventions. A related monster is simply maintaining the status quo.  Data clearly indicates that those health care systems that maintain their scores are falling further behind their competition in reimbursement and reputation.  Ongoing, real-time rounding—by nurses, leaders and others—can help your hospital stay alert to the terrifying potential impacts of diminishing patient experience scores.

Bad reputation on social media

Is there anything more frightening than a negative review on a social media site—especially when that review goes viral and spreads like a pack of zombies? By helping our clients provide exceptional service, seeking feedback and responding quickly and appropriately to any service- or care-related issues are important ways to proactively avoid this particular monster. But, when bad reviews or negative comments do occur in a public forum, your ability to quickly respond online, and then take the conversation offline, both addresses the complainer and sends a positive message about your focus on service recovery to the masses.

Non-engagement of employees

When your people are your product, engagement really matters. That’s certainly true in healthcare where care delivery is almost entirely dependent on not only the people delivering care, but the people supporting the people delivering care. Unfortunately, engagement is at frightening low levels in the United States, according to a Gallup report which indicates that only 33 percent of employees are engaged. Tackling lack of engagement starts with more fully understanding what motivates your workforce—individually and collectively. TruthPoint client have a fast and efficient way to gather and share staff feedback – and kudos – providing a proven way to both engage and empower staff.

What monsters have you faced in your patient care and experience improvement efforts this year? How are you working to tackle them?  This doesn’t have to be a scary time for us in the healthcare community.  At TruthPoint, we are committed to working with our health care provider and system partners to keep the monsters at bay and help you achieve your goals in patient engagement, experience, and quality.  We welcome the opportunity to engage with you and discover how to leverage the strengths of your organization to address your most pressing improvement objectives.