Tell Me Now: A focus on Customer Service
Part 4
     


In my last column, we discussed how the “Tell Me Now” customer service initiative is creating a culture of service at Granville Health System. We talked about the ways we’re changing the culture – from hiring people with a proven history of customer service to providing ongoing customer service training and support for our employees. We discussed empowering our employees to lead the culture change through our staff-led Tell Me Now Action Committee. We’ve discussed the importance of measuring our results and ensuring our program works as designed; giving our patients, their families and the communities a voice in how we continue to deliver quality care and service at a high level.

We also talked about how GHS is helping staff to feel empowered to address issues that may come up during a patient’s stay at Granville Medical Center. This is supported by department leaders and administration as we continue to provide training and problem-solving tools to allow our staff to better care for our patients. An example of this support includes an improved communications and response model for our Environmental Services Department, allowing our Housekeeping Team to quickly respond the needs our patients.

This week, I’d like to discuss how we monitor “Tell Me Now” and how our customer service program has brought an additional level of advocacy to the patient experience at our hospital. Earlier we reviewed how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) measures hospital care and experience through a series of survey questions posed to patients recently discharged. Of course, we can anticipate these results, but final scores arrive months after a patient has been surveyed. We knew in order to affect real-time, positive change to the patient experience, we had to measure our results on site and make quick course corrections if necessary.

During a stay at Granville Medical Center, patients and their families will notice the “Tell Me Now” buttons and shirts that our staff wears throughout the hospital. They will see the posters and hear a summary of the program from our admissions staff. In addition, patients will also hear staff inquire about their stay; “how is your room, is it clean and quiet? Is there anything you need, can I get you anything?” Toward the end of their stay, they will receive a visit from a GHS Volunteer Customer Service Representative (CSR). “Tell Me Now” CSRs visit patients before discharge to ask about their patient experience at GHS. They work tirelessly to collect immediate feedback and recommendations, which are brought back to the Action Committee, allowing GHS staff to better serve our patients.
Our “Tell Me Now” CSR volunteers have an extensive background in customer service and have been selected and trained specifically to collect feedback from our patients and their families in order make sure our staff are doing everything we can to meet and exceed their expectations.

Bill Thornton is one of Granville Medical Center’s CSRs. He volunteers about 40 hours a week as a CSR and as a Greeter in the front lobby and the Emergency Department. He’s also a certified Patient Navigator for GHS’s Affordable Care Insurance Marketplace Program. His enthusiasm and quick smile make him a natural for the “Tell Me Now” program. Bill understands that, while we want to hear a patient gives us a 10 for overall patient experience, it’s about more than a number. It’s about providing our community with quality care and excellent customer service. He is an advocate for the patient and their family, making sure their voice is heard and ideas and comments are brought to the table.

It is critical that Granville Health System provides both quality care and great customer service here at your community hospital, but we need your help. Your feedback is critical to not only our “Tell Me Now” program but the success of our mission as well; to provide the community we serve with the very best health care delivered with compassion and pride.

In my next column, we’ll share feedback from our patients on the “Tell Me Now” campaign. In the meantime, please contact me with your thoughts and ideas on customer service and how we can earn a 10 during your next visit. You can contact me directly by email at lisley@granvillemedical.com or visit ghsHospital.org/TellMeNow for more information.