Increasing Patient Satisfaction Throughout the House
- April 26, 2017
- ByEvan Howell
Navicent Health Finds Success with the We Care Challenge
Like many hospitals, Navicent Health in Macon, Georgia, struggled with providing what ApolloMD refers to as the “wow” factor in patient experience. The “wow” factor is providing an individualized experience for each patient by going above and beyond what is purely expected to ensure patients are comfortable and well-informed. Historically at Navicent, the approach to enhancing the patient experience was very siloed and staff focused on their respective segments, but had never approached patient experience in a broad, collaborative way.
“Navicent is a large organization that is constantly changing with many initiatives. It is challenging to keep staff engaged with constant changes,” explained Johnny Williams, Navicent Health Emergency Department Director. However, with the implementation of ApolloMD’s internally developed We Care Challenge, Navicent experienced an impressive positive change in teamwork, collaboration and excitement about the patient experience, as well as positive effects on leadership and culture within the organization.
10 Week Challenge
The We Care Challenge, a 10-week patient experience immersion project, takes already decent patient satisfaction to the next level. This collaborative effort between the healthcare facility and ApolloMD creates a culture in the hospital that goes beyond the excellent clinical care already being provided.
Over 10-weeks, the Challenge slowly introduces concepts that have been proven as best practices to enhance the patient experience. By introducing these concepts one week at a time, it is possible to hardwire them into daily practices and create an atmosphere that promotes patient-centered behavior – all by taking bedside manner back to basics.
The We Care Challenge can be modified to fit the needs of each facility, but consist primarily of the following basic concepts, all used for Navicent Health:
With each We Care Challenge step implemented, facilities are encouraged to think creatively and make each week a fun event for staff while helping them practice the new concept. Navicent had a very spirited and imaginative team which was apparent with their ingenious ideas used throughout the Challenge. They developed unique themes for each week that included engaging ways for staff to participate. Some examples include a PB&J theme for Week Four, which focused on addressing patient comfort. In addition to peanut butter and jelly being a “comfort” food, PB&J was an acronym that stood for “Pillow, Blanket & Just Call,” which reminded staff to offer patients pillows and blankets and to remind them to utilize the call button if they needed anything. For Week Nine – Managing up coworkers and the hospital – the team created “Take What You Need” and “Giving Tree” boards, which included notes of encouragement that anyone could take or pass along to someone else. Patients and family even left comments to staff on the Giving Tree.
“For the Emergency Center, the ‘We Care Challenge’ was a way to breathe fresh air into our patient experience initiative,” explained Williams. “The Challenge allowed us to introduce and focus on the importance of customer service so that once complete, we will be able to maintain that higher level of energy and make these positive habits a way of life for the department.”
The success of any patient satisfaction initiative often lies in the amount of engagement from both leadership and staff. The We Care Challenge is implemented and conducted primarily by front-line staff, allowing for maximum involvement and input by those who physically provide patient care. While there have been measurable improvements in several patient satisfaction scores since the implementation of the Challenge, the most significant victory is the excitement, energy and prioritization around the patient experience that was generated at Navicent Health.