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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘patient satisfaction’

Building Trust With Patients: Trust Point Exercise

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Activity: Trust Point Exercise
Time: 50-60 minutes

Set the stage (5 minutes)
Remind participants that a big part of patient satisfaction stems from the degree to which a patient trusts his or her healthcare provider. It is crucial that everyone in the healthcare field understand that each encounter with a patient represents a “trust point” in which you either build the patient’s trust in you, or lose their trust.

  • Trust points involve contact with our patients by phone, in person, by email, by any means.
  • Trust points are an opportunity for the patient to learn something about us as an organization, and about us as individuals.
  • The best trust points leave a positive impression on the patient.

Explain to participants that the purpose of this activity is to help them:
– Understand the relationship between patient care, clinical interaction, and organization/practice success.
– Review typical patient interactions and identify trust points.
– Examine trust points and develop ways to improve the patient experience.

Introduce the Activity (5 minutes)
Tell participants that over the next 40-50 minutes, they are going to take a close look at the trust points in their practice or department, and how they interact with and relate to patients through these transactions. Explain that this will be a small group activity, with each group discussing one of the four phases of the patient care experience. When all groups are done, they will report back to the full group on the trust points they’ve have identified.

Say: Let’s examine our practice/department by breaking it down into four main phases of the patient care experience (write these on the flipchart):

  1. Check-In – from the time a patient makes an appointment or walks in the door.
  2. Procedure or Visit – the actual clinical interaction we have with a patient and the patient’s reason for coming to us.
  3. Recovery and Follow-up – this can be as complicated as post-surgery or as simple as providing test results or calling in a prescription.
  4. Behind-the-Scenes – insurance processing, setting appointments, transferring files, matching forms, calculating costs, arranging for home medical equipment, etc.

Each of these phases provides a series of trust points with our patients – so each one has plenty of opportunities for us to fail or succeed.

Hand out the Trust Point worksheet. Click here for worksheet PDF.

Ask the participants to break into four groups. (They can use any method they want to create four groups, but each group should include staff from different practice areas to promote idea sharing.)

Assign each group one of the four practice phases: Check-In, Procedure or Visit, Recovery and Follow-Up, or Behind-the-Scenes.

Have the groups use the Trust Point Worksheet to guide the discussion of their assigned practice phase.

Have groups complete the activity. (20-30 minutes)
Give each group a flipchart page. Have them create their flipchart page to look like the Trust Points Worksheet.


  1. Identify a “reporter” for your group. The reporter will fill in the flipchart and present your group’s findings to the full group in the next step of the workshop.
  2. Identify as many trust points as you can in for your assigned treatment phase. Write these in Column 1.
  3. For each trust point, write what the patient needs in Column 2.
  4. In Column 3, write what we need for each trust point on the practice side of the equation – including any technical or system requirements.
  5. In Column 4, write down what we need or expect from each other at each of the trust points.
  6. Later, we’ll use Column 5 to brainstorm how to make things better for the patient at each of the trust points you identify. We’ll do that as a full group.

Walk around the room to answer any questions.

Debrief the Activity (20 minutes)

  1. Have the reporter for each group post their flipchart and describe their small group’s findings for their assigned phase.
  2. Begin the brainstorming process. For each Trust Point, ask the full group to come up with ways to make things better. The reporter should write these in Column 5 of their flipchart.
  3. Depending on the time you have available, allow more or less discussion of each group’s ideas.
  4. Tell the participants that you will type up the completed flipcharts and make them available for everyone’s use after the workshop.

Where do we go next? How can we start to implement these suggestions?


This training activity excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for the best-selling It’s a Dog’s World training video from CRM Learning. Preview the video and see why it is our all-time best-selling patient satisfaction training video. Also, check out our It’s a Dog’s World e-learning module. This e-learning is the perfect way to reinforce individual employees’ knowledge and skill after the group has viewed and discussed the video.

Stand Up and Be Counted: Patient Satisfaction

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Why Patient Satisfaction Should Be Even More Important to Healthcare Providers Today.

Dawn Hunter
Senior Consultant
The HSM Group, Ltd.

Healthcare organizations that don’t make patient satisfaction a priority risk losing market share, financial gain, and employee retention. Whether you attribute the movement toward patient-centered healthcare to things like increased transparency, skepticism about doctors and health plans, or an industry-wide push to improve quality outcomes, the healthcare industry is evolving and there are a number of compelling reasons why improving satisfaction should be high on the agenda of all healthcare providers.

Beginning March 2008, consumers have access to results of patient satisfaction data on hospitals as they have not had before. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a public reporting initiative in which adult patients rate their experiences of hospital care and services. Public reporting via HCAHPS is expected to increase the transparency of the care provided in return for the public investment and participation is required for general acute care hospitals in order to maintain eligibility for full reimbursement updates from CMS. CMS publicly reports results on Hospital Quality Alliance’s (HQA) Web site, Hospital Compare (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).

Satisfaction that can be measured also offers the potential for higher compensation. Measuring satisfaction has become commonplace and providers (both hospitals and physicians) will be increasingly expected to participate in more pay-for-performance (P4P) programs where bonuses and basic compensation levels will be derived in part or in total, from patient satisfaction scores. P4P programs are being offered by a wider array of stakeholders, such as health plans and employers. One example of a P4P program that has paid out millions to medical groups in California was launched in July 2000 through The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), which formed a high-level working group of purchasers, health plan medical directors, and physician group executives and medical directors. In 2004, payments to physician practices in California totaled $35 million. There are other examples of P4P programs where a portion of compensation (say 15%) is determined by patient satisfaction scores, and, while not the norm, there are also more aggressive P4P programs where as much as 100% of a physician’s total compensation is related to patient satisfaction scores.

Satisfied customers reduce the likelihood of litigation – happier, more compliant patients translate into lower malpractice risk. A June 2002 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that lawsuits were significantly related to total numbers of patient complaints, even when data were adjusted for physicians’ volume of clinical activity. So, the bottom line is that more satisfied patients are less likely to file medical malpractice lawsuits.

Satisfaction is not only good for the patient but also good for the provider. Studies have indicated that providers who show higher levels of professional satisfaction also have more satisfied patients. Another study showed a correlation between patient satisfaction and outcomes; results indicated that patients who were more satisfied were also more compliant and more likely to have more successful outcomes.

Satisfied patients can result in higher workforce retention. Research by Press Ganey shows a relationship between employee satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and quality of care as an interactive, reinforcing relationship. Not only do satisfied employees deliver better care, but working for an organization that values patients and delivers quality drives employee satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Satisfied customers contribute to a positive image in the community, lower patient turnover, and the potential for less money spent marketing. Let’s not forget that it costs more to replace a lost customer than keep a satisfied one and that unhappy patients influence their friends and family away from the providers at perhaps twice the rate satisfied customers refer patients to a provider.

While any of these reasons alone might make a valid argument for why healthcare organizations need to think about patient satisfaction, when looked at in combination, the evidence is undeniable. Patient satisfaction is important, and providers who want to be viable, competitive, and quality-focused would do well to not underestimate the importance of meeting patients’ expectations.


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