Are your HCAHPS scores, Press Ganey results, and other patient satisfaction indicators telling you that the patient experience is not living up to your organization’s mission, vision, and values?
HCAHPS and Press Ganey are great for pointing out that a problem exists, but they fail to reveal the underlying reasons for the negative impressions. You may have hunches, like poor customer service from front-end staff, but no real proof.
So what do you do? Training initiatives are great—but again, how do you make the training most effective if you’re not sure who/what/where to target? Before launching a training program to combat poor patient satisfaction results, HBI’s Custom Service team recommends systematically analyzing your current patient experience through secret shopping.
The goal of secret shopping is to gain a detailed, unbiased evaluation of the patient experience by assessing the organization’s people, processes, and physical environment.
For People elements, staff customer service aspects are observed and reviewed, such as staff appearance/etiquette, friendliness, helpfulness, and empathy.
Processes like phone tree routes, appointment access, waiting room wait times, registration times, and privacy protection protocols are evaluated.
Physical environment aspects like clear signage, available parking, clean public areas, and comfortable waiting room seats impact first impressions and are reflected in measured results.
Secret shopping is not meant to catch and scold “bad employees.” Instead, poor results can be used to initiate counseling and retraining. Not only is secret shopping intended to identify areas of opportunities, it is also a great methodology for revealing strengths, identifying star performers, and providing positive acknowledgement and feedback.
Has your organization used secret shopping? What have you found? Want more information on how HBI can provide objective, insightful secret shopping and customer service training? Message us today!