The 97 percent solution
Radiology’s focus on service excellence leads to top patient rating
For the second survey period in a row, the Department of Radiology has scored an impressive 97 out of 100 in customer satisfaction.
How'd they do it - and how can other areas of our clinical operation achieve the same high praise from patients? Read on to find out.
Radiology's success may stem in part from all-out engagement in a Customer Service Excellence Program, which was launched department-wide in October 2009 after more than a year of grassroots preparation. More than 1,040 faculty, staff and trainees are fully engaged in this program.
"This is not just about patient satisfaction, "said Maria Ceo, Radiology's chief department administrator. "It's also about providing service excellence to each other."
"It's very satisfying to see how faculty and staff have responded," added Ella Kazerooni, M.D., M.S., professor of radiology and associate chair for clinical affairs - and a key champion of the effort.
"We have better employee engagement and improved patient satisfaction, which go hand-in-hand," says Kazerooni. "Everyone in our department plays an important role in service excellence, from those who are visible to patients, such as clerical staff in reception areas; technologists who perform many of the exams; nurses, physicians and physician extenders; to those behind the scenes, like our call center staff, who schedule exams; our IT and engineering staff, who keep our systems running; and our billing and research staff."
In addition to an improved culture of service for faculty and staff, there have been notable improvements for patients, including an easier process for scheduling appointments, better greeting techniques and getting the radiology reports to the requesting health care providers faster and electronically.
"What I like about the program is that it helps cultivate excellence within the department, and it makes it a better place to work," said Dianne Briones, Radiology's manager of clinical and faculty support services.
How they did it
Radiology already had a good track record for serving patients when leadership decided to raise service to an even higher level.
"We wanted to elevate what we did so we could go from giving good service to great service," Kazerooni said.
Department leadership consulted Charles Ellis, M.D., professor and associate chair of the Department of Dermatology, who led his department's successful customer service effort and now co-leads the Health System's Service Excellence program.
Radiology's customer service program is based on a philosophy that everyone should treat patients and colleagues as they would treat their own family. Another important tool is Radiology's Gold Service Standards, which all faculty and staff agree to during their annual performance evaluations. (Click here to download a printable flyer of these Gold Service Standards to post in your work area.)
Other key elements of Radiology's success include:
Through their committed effort, Radiology has supported faculty and staff, produced tools, celebrated successes and fostered continuous improvements to enhance the customer experience.
Their success is contagious, says Cassandra Willis-Abner, director of Service Excellence for the Health System.
"Radiology used the model from Dermatology and made it their own. They have given us an example of how to create the ideal experience for patients and the ideal employee experience. The two ideals combined make the Michigan experience."
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