Patient Satisfaction & Patient Experience

Focusing on the Fundamentals

Hospitals and healthcare systems across the country have naturally progressed to providing a more customer service focused culture. As a result, many hospitals are redefining their missions to provide the highest level of patient satisfaction, service excellence and enhance the overall patient experience.  With this progression, buzzwords have changed and new ones have come into play. Two buzzwords most commonly questioned as this cultural shift has become more prominent are patient satisfaction and patient experience.

Both patient satisfaction and patient experience are the most valuable tools for receiving information on how to improve patient care. As we have shifted from what we think to what we know, hospitals and health systems are not only focusing on “how are we doing,” but are also taking a more in-depth look at “what are we doing and how are we delivering it.”

Different Definitions

This shift has created the opportunity for a number of people to define patient experience and patient satisfaction differently. Many focus on survey questions or create their own definition based on what works for a specific facility or need. There are several physician services groups, hospitals and health systems that still use the words interchangeably, with the knowledge that the true importance is not the words themselves, but their fundamental practices.

Creative Solutions

At ApolloMD, we believe the importance is the underlying concept of patient experience and patient satisfaction. We take different angles to look at the concepts and offer our partners targeted provider/individual coaching, team coaching, as well as department-wide or hospital-wide coaching. Our Operations Team serves as an internal consulting group addressing all areas of the patient encounter with a number of creative solutions. These include:

AIDET Training

AIDET Training is used as a guide for clinicians to complete the necessary steps for communication throughout the entire patient encounter. AIDET is an acronym for Acknowledge, Introduce, Discuss, Explain, Thank You. This is a Studer Group program that utilizes one-on-one coaching and real-time bedside shadowing to practice the communication and courtesy skills that lead to a great patient experience.

We Care Challenge

The We Care Challenge (WCC) is an internally-built program that focuses on the patient’s experience. It is a large-scale, collaborative 10-week program involving all stakeholders (providers, nurses, ancillary staff, etc.) and the ApolloMD Operations team. The WCC is implemented house-wide or per specific departments (ex. ED only), depending on the partner’s need. Each week introduces a new skill, and builds on the previous, to instill good habits and hardwire being cognizant of the patient experience into the clinician’s daily practice.

FOCUS 5 Maintenace Program

FOCUS 5 Maintenance Program is a deeper dive into five priority skills identified through patient satisfaction surveys. Custom built for each facility, the program is often used as a post-WCC follow up or can completely stand alone.

Patient Experience Boot Camp

Our newest program, Patient Experience Boot Camp, was built in response to our partners’ need for a full-service Patient Satisfaction program. The boot camp is an interactive seminar that utilizes videos and simulation labs conducted in a group setting or on an individual basis and provides a more hands-on approach for our partner facilities.

Additional Resources:

Navicent Health Finds Success with the We Care Challenge

Successful Strategies to LWBS

Defining Hospital Service Excellence

7 Simple Tips to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

A Team Approach to Patient Satisfaction in the ED

Dr. Mike Lipscomb began practicing Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical System in 1997, then continued at WellStar North Fulton Hospital in October of 2000. He became Medical Director of the department in 2005.  Previously serving as Chief of Staff, he is currently serving as Past Chief of Staff at North Fulton through 2018. In 2013, ApolloMD welcomed Dr. Lipscomb to the corporate team to serve as a Regional President. With a particular interest in Quality, Dr. Lipscomb additionally serves as the Chief Quality Officer for ApolloMD.

Dr. Lipscomb received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at The University of Michigan Medical System.

As Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Advanced Practice Clinician (APC), Evan Howell, M.M.Sc., PA-C, works directly with ApolloMD’s operations teams and client facilities on all clinically-based process initiatives. He serves as an “internal consultant”, performing service line assessments, departmental throughput analysis, new process design/implementation, physical plant design/redesign, and patient satisfaction initiatives. Mr. Howell holds overall responsibility for providing leadership, direction and administration of medical management for APC services at ApolloMD.

Mr. Howell is Lean/Six Sigma certified and has practiced as a Physician Assistant since 1999. He received his Masters of Medical Science and Physician Assistant degrees from the Emory University School of Medicine, where he graduated with highest honors. Mr. Howell is currently an MBA candidate at the Mason School of Business of the College of William and Mary.