Tell Me Now: A focus on Customer Service
Part 5
     


In my last column, we talked about how the “Tell Me Now” customer service initiative is improving the patient experience at Granville Medical Center. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) measures hospital care and experience by asking recently discharged patients to complete a survey on their stay. These results are publically reported, but are often released months after a patient’s visit.

Previously, we discussed how a program like “Tell Me Now” focuses on an immediate response approach to delivering excellent customer service. We also reviewed how our volunteer Customer Service Representatives are visiting patients at discharge to follow-up on their experience and how they are advocating for these patients and their families by making their voices heard. They are collecting our community’s feedback and reporting directly back to our customer service program.

Our staff-led Tell Me Now Action Committee met recently to begin reviewing this feedback and is already preparing recommendations for the organization. An area that we have received plenty of feedback centers on the level of noise in and around patient rooms. In some cases these concerns were immediately addressed by adjusting the sound level on the overhead PA system. In other instances, in-room air conditioning units required attention. Our action committee is also establishing a strategic plan for addressing process improvement and facilitating change management in order to meet the needs of our patients and support this growing customer service program.

“Tell Me Now” has the support of Granville Health System Board of Trustees, administrative staff, department leadership and the Action Committee. Our staff and volunteers are leading this program and ensuring the “Tell Me Now” initiative remains on track.

In fact, I introduced you to Bill Thornton, a volunteer Customer Service Representative who is committed to providing patients with both quality care and excellent customer service, and making sure they have a voice in the care they receive. Mr. Thornton and other Customer Service Representatives have been able to address patient needs with staff based on the feedback they have received during their room visits. Whether it is a need for fresh linens, a glass of orange juice or visit from housekeeping, the program has provided important feedback for our customer service team and staff. You see, each of these stakeholders is critical to maintaining the integrity of the program, but the most important stakeholders in the “Tell Me Now” initiative are our patients and their families.

Tracy Matthews of Oxford recently delivered her third child at Granville Medical Center. She admires the responsiveness of the nursing staff and the personal touch she received from Dietary Services. She reported that she received excellent care and service during her entire stay. With more than 15 years of experience in the customer service industry herself, Tracy was impressed with the “Tell Me Now” campaign and its message to the community.

“A customer service representative came to talk to me about my stay and I really appreciated that opportunity to provide feedback to my community hospital,” said Matthews. “They asked me to rate my stay on a scale of 0 to 10. I give the hospital a 10 for my experience there.”
I truly appreciate Ms. Matthews’ feedback. By introducing her to the “Tell Me Now” campaign, she understands the significance of the survey question that asks a patient to rate the hospital on a score of 0 to 10, and that only scores of 9 or 10 are publically reported. That means that a rating of an 8 is the same as a 0. Earning a 10 indicates we provided Ms. Matthews with both the highest level of care and excellent customer service. It means we made sure she had a voice in how we operate her community hospital. These things go hand in hand at Granville Health System.

As I write this series of columns, I’d like to thank our community and the readers of this newspaper for your support of the “Tell Me Now” program. Thank you for the feedback you’ve given me as this campaign moves forward. I would ask for your continued comments on customer service and how we can earn a 10 on your next visit. You can contact me directly by email at lisley@granvillemedical.com or visit ghsHospital.org/TellMeNow for more information.