How to Lead in the New Normal and Win Back Patients

The new normal is upon us, and it’s drastically changing how we go about healthcare, interact with each patient, and even win back patients.

Now more than ever, we have to focus on patient satisfaction.

With so many changes upon us, we must learn how to lead in the new normal. It’s crucial now more than ever to give our leaders timely leadership education that will help them be agile leaders.

So how do we do that?

What Do We Need to Know to Lead in the New Normal?

1. Empathy

We need to teach our leaders how to provide caregiver empathy when so many of our staff suffer from COVID-19 fatigue.

Remember: staff members play a vital role in a hospital. To lead in the new normal and win back patients, you have to actively work to support your staff members, particularly during these challenging times. Learn more about the vital role staff members play in a hospital here.

2. Adjusting to Change

We are in an era now of constant, frequent, perpetual, radical change, and we need to teach our leaders how to gain buy-in from anybody or anything.

3. Agility, Influence, and Persuasion

We need to teach leaders agility, influence, and persuasion. These are the new skills in the new era of pandemics.

How to Gain a Buy-in From Anybody for Anything

The number one reason change initiatives fail is lack of buy-in. There are five steps to gain a buy-in. Here they are.

1. Conduct a subject briefing

Get your people together in a classroom. Spend 10-15 minutes with them and outline everything they need to know about how it works.

2. Buddy people up

After the briefing, pair up all the attendees. When you have a positive attitude and a negative attitude together in a buddy team, the positive attitude will always overwhelm the negative.

3. Assign a discussion

Have the buddies talk about three benefits of the new idea and one barrier.

4. Debrief

People start to buy-in when they begin to see new, positive benefits and realize that it will help them in their life. When the barriers come up, have them brainstorm right then and there on how to overcome that barrier.

5. Take action

When you’re done debriefing, talk about who will do what by when, and how.

Create a Five-Star Healthcare Experience for Everyone

Educate your brightest and best as outreach safety ambassadors. Johns Hopkins Medicine calls them Trusted Messengers.

If people aren’t coming to the hospital, you have to go to the community. Remember: people don’t trust hospitals and doctors, or less so than they did before.

We need to go where they are, and we need to get the message out. To lead in the new normal, we have to get out and let people know that we are their center of excellence. We are an oasis of kindness and healing.

Recruit your brightest and best frontline employees. Pick people with positive attitudes—people who will walk the talk and are passionate about the subject. In teams of four, have them go out and speak to churches and service clubs, and associations.

Think about three initiatives:

  1. Education of inspiration on how to win back patients
  2. How to lead in the new normal
  3. Creating a safe, five-star experience

Outreach Projects to Win Back Patients

1. Safety Ambassadors

Safety ambassadors could be physicians: advanced care practitioners, board trustees, or members of your patient-family advisory council.

2. Make Your Entryway Welcoming

Perception = deception. Remember, the way we see ourselves may not be the way our patients or customers see us. The old cliché is true: you never get a second chance to make a positive first impression.

Is your entryway a welcoming entrance or a barricade? Make the best of your current situation. Create a contest for the best, most creative mask, or the best, most creative badge. Anything that will make a patient’s entrance more welcoming.

3. Access

How easy is it for patients to navigate access?

Let’s begin with assuming your patients are “reluctant customers.” Unless they are coming to the hospital for a tummy tuck, a facelift, or to deliver a baby, they don’t want to be there.

Use photo badges and appoint a safe, simple, access task force. Put a team together representing admitting, ER, and other various departments.

4. Safety Culture Project

How difficult are you making it for patients to get onsite? Start a Safety Culture Project and teach sentence starters to everyone.

Begin with entrance greeters (not screeners). It could be as simple as saying, ‘welcome to our hospital; we’re so glad you’ve chosen the safest place in town for your care.”

5. Create a Video

Using just your smartphone, create a video. Get a team together of four or five frontline employees and create a video called “100 Reasons Why We’re the Safest Place in Town”.

Instead of downloading brochures and long lists of all the things you’ve done, have a fun three-minute video and post it on your website, on YouTube, on Facebook, on Instagram.

6. Virtual Safety Tour

Have your chief nurse officer record two or three minutes explaining why the place is safe. Post this on your website, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and any other socials.

Talk about the cleaning that you do, your outpatient services, and any new protocols.

7. Ask Patients About Their Visit

What if you asked every patient, “folks, thanks for choosing us; on the way out the door, we’d sure like to ask if you’d record a 30-second video. I’ll ask you a question about why you chose us and why you came back”.

Most people, when asked nicely, will say yes. This turns your patients into campaign workers for you. These will go viral in the community and go a long way to help you win back patients.

8. Ask for Referrals

Never underestimate the power of a patient referral!

If you're not asking for referrals, you're missing out on ways to improve both your hospital's reputation and intake. Referrals don't cost anything, and they're easy to do. For help on how to ask for a referral, check out this blog post.

Now let's go spread Kindness Care, Everywhere!

Reimagining Healthcare Engagement Summit

In June, we are holding a special one-day summit called “Reimagining Healthcare Engagement,” which will be 100% live streaming. Register to learn more about how to refresh the workplace through resilience, agility, and kindness.

Everyone’s a Caregiver: Providing Education for Healthcare Workers

Everyone's a Caregiver provides education to healthcare workers to better improve their patient's overall experience. We understand the time constraints placed in today's workplace and have customized microlearning videos to help you gain the skills you need to be a better, more positive healthcare worker. Contact us today to see how we can help, or click here to learn more.

If you are interested in patient care, check out these articles!

Why is Patient Satisfaction so Important?
Non-Verbal Communication is the Key to Great Patient Care
A Positive Attitude is Key to Great Patient Care