Sure it seems like a never ending cycle of cutbacks, reductions and expectations to do more with less. Some hospitals reach the breaking point sooner because they have been more efficient to begin with. Eventually even the over-staffed facilities will feel the challenge to keep up.
Patient satisfaction scores are one measure of performance. While it is important to listen to the customer we must first measure our staff performance ourselves. When rounding do you take the time to observe how your staff are cleaning, and offer tips, suggestions and training on the spot?
First understand the mistakes, errors and near misses will happen. Never give an excuse to a patient, nurse or your staff. Face the complaint head on and apologize and make it right immediately. Patients will appreciate that a lot more then hearing some excuse. Then work with your staff so it won’t likely happen again.
Even our Stars have bad days, sometimes weeks and we first have to understand that. Scores go up and down and you can’t let short term dips sabotage your team. Work with them, not against them, and you will have better results.
My efforts to improve scores includes personal one-on-one recognition and development, team training and development, consistent and regular communication of my vision that every patient, everyday will be happy with their room cleaning. We hold weekly huddles to reinforce service excellence. We have Do-It projects to improve key metrics and most of all; we build a team by caring about each person.
It is not easy, but I have seen a steady increase in patient scores and that in itself is a good motivator for my team. They understand the value in being appreciated and when they see the trends posted in their closets and in our supply room.
Today I went in, wished them a happy Fourth of July and gave cookies and candy bars. Not very healthy but the appreciation shown both ways helps us all.