Patient satisfaction has long been at the heart of countless initiatives undertaken by Marshfield Clinic, and not surprisingly, the organization is excited to build upon this commitment with a new system-wide educational effort.
Based on a recent survey of health care executives, one-third identified the "patient experience" as their top system priority for 2013. Patient experience could be defined as the dedication to addressing the patients' immediate health care need in a timely and comprehensive manner at every level of the organization.
Noting that patients and family have choices, Laura Nelson, M.D., Marshfield Clinic chief medical officer, emphasized the significance of the entire patient encounter.
"All of us at Marshfield Clinic are responsible for shaping the experience from the time the patient calls the Clinic, accesses the website, parks their car, enters the building, interacts with the physician and staff, gets their bill...." she explained. "The experience is an accumulation of all the interactions they have with our organization."
"The patient will determine if the experience was great (exceeds expectations) or less than great."
"We have great physicians and staff who put patient needs first every day," Dr. Nelson added. "Each of us must own our part in shaping the patient experience and making it exceptional so that Marshfield Clinic is their first choice when they need health care."
According to Joseph Kilsdonk, Au.D, Marshfield Clinic Division of Education administrator, achieving an excellent patient experience is an attainment that takes teamwork. As such, the Division of Education will be instrumental in delivering training throughout 2013.
"Every staff and provider will be going through patient experience education, the goal of which is to enhance our organizational relationship with our employees and patients that hopefully lasts for generations," Kilsdonk explained.
With the realization that every improvement made in a patient's health care experience is at the core of the Clinic's mission, a team-based approach is vital.
"Health care systems that are well positioned for growth are those that consistently demonstrate superior value in service, quality and cost," said Jim Coleman, Marshfield Clinic chief operations officer.
"Our vision is to be the industry leader in enhancing the patient experience. Each person in our organization can make a positive difference for patients and their families," he stated.
"We are doing great things within our organization. A system-wide commitment to providing excellence in the patient experience every time will go a long way in securing a bright future for Marshfield Clinic," Coleman added.
A year ago Marshfield Clinic began benchmarking patient satisfaction using the Press Ganey survey tool. The Clinic's System Patient Experience Committee (SPEC) and System Operations Group have used three quarters of survey data to establish percentile goals. The target date for achieving the goals is September 30, 2013.