As I was rummaging through my “to do” box, I found some notes from an ACHE North Texas Education event that I attended back in March. The title of the event was Reinventing Customer Service in Healthcare. Here are a few ideas:

-When a nurse or medical assistant walks into a room, introduce themselves with a real introduction. “Hi my name is X. I’ve been here X years (or have X years experience in X). I have a special interest in X.

-Have a boot camp for service-challenged employees. If that doesn’t help their service skills, help them find another job.

-For doctor’s offices, use service recovery to discover patterns such as cancelled clinic appointments and clinic running more than 30 minutes late.  Then, get to the bottom of the issue.

-For hospitals, know what patients want.  Follow luxury hotels/car dealers.  Keep up with patient wants such as bottled water vs. glass of water, wheel chair, extra blankets, and nurse preferences.

-Also for hospitals, use status screens in the OR waiting room.  Blind patient names by using a screen name or code.  This way, families know what is going on and don’t have to continually ask.

We all know service matters.  And, we also know that most healthcare entities stink at it.  Pick one service strategy and implement it this quarter, this month, or even today.  And then, pick another.