Service Recovery in a Hospital is the Key to Patient Satisfaction

Hospital staff numbers must embrace a best practice called service recovery to achieve patient satisfaction: when you mess up, you fess up and dress up.

Service recovery goes a long way in creating a culture of kindness in a hospital. It allows hospital staff members to be more present, compassionate, and empathetic. Being present for a patient in their time of need and having a positive attitude by offering empathy, compassion, kindness, and love is the greatest gift we can give.

“Human presence is the cornerstone of empathy and the foundation of what it means to be human.”
- Marcus Engel

What if we all began every shift with kindness?

Remember: patients notice you. They are watching you. These are all reasons that we should consistently deliver kindness care everywhere.

Practice Service Recovery and Improve Patient Satisfaction by Embracing Complaints

Deal with complaints in a way that empowers everyone. A hospital should empower everyone to solve a complaint, prevent a complaint, or show human compassion. It’s about giving hospital staff members the discretion to give extra care when certain patients or situations require it. If you make a mistake, you have the control to do something to fix it and improve patient satisfaction.

Hospitals trust their employees with patients’ lives, which is why management should trust every one of the full and part-time employees at a facility to use their good judgment to keep patients happy.

Hospitals should authorize everyone to spend up to $10 per person, or $50 per person, per year to empower them to practice service recovery whenever possible to keep patients happy.

See Complaints as a Gift

Janelle Barlow wrote a book called A Complaint is a Gift. When we get feedback about things not going well, consider it a gift. It becomes an opportunity to fix the problem and make it better.

Remember: the flipside of lemon is lemonade. The flipside of every group of complaints is an opportunity to improve service.

Service recovery should never require managers’ pre-approval. Managers are in meetings, webinars, and seminars every day. Hospitals need to trust their staff members to use their good judgment, which is why creating a Performance Improvement Team and drafting a Service Recovery Policy can significantly help improve patient satisfaction and patient engagement.

Practice C.A.R.E

  • Concur: Acknowledge a concern or complaint by saying, “thank you for bringing it to our attention.”
  • Apologize: Say sorry without blame by saying, “I am so sorry, I apologize.”
  • Respond: Tell your patients what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do.
  • Extended thanks: Say thank you for taking the time: “Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention.”

Appoint a team and create a Service Recovery Policy. Every three months, take a moment to find out what you learned and track trends. Spend half an hour in a classroom or meeting room and give people a chance to ask questions about the policy, sort things out in their mind, see what is working, what isn’t working, and improve from there.

Make Service Recovery a Powerful Part of Your Service Culture and Brand Promise

You have a brand in the community right now. Some of it is positive, and some of it is negative. Your brand is what you promise in your brochures and your website and what you tell people. You need to focus on improving your brand. Focusing on service recovery is the first step. As the Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

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.

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