Earlier this year, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital (SNLH) held a celebratory luncheon to recognize employees who are creating ways to improve the patient experience. Their efforts over the past year are paying off in the form of greatly improved patient satisfaction scores, said Dr. Lesley Ogden, SNLH Chief Executive Officer. “Our patients trust us to provide compassionate and high quality care,” Ogden said. “We have the latest technology and equipment. We have the resources and support to do our work. Now, we are refocusing efforts on providing excellent customer service every time, to every patient.”
Each department in the hospital is represented on the Patient Experience Committee, under the leadership of Theresa Via, director of Quality Resources. The first assigned task was for each department to pinpoint ways to improve the patient experience in their own area. For example, nurses on the medical-surgical unit have reorganized supplies to allow for more time at the patient’s bedside. The medical clinics have found ways to improve workflow and reduce wait times. The engineering department is updating patient rooms and has improved the process of handling work orders, and so on.
“Every employee at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital plays an important role in creating a wonderful patient experience,” Via said. “The appearance of our buildings, the cleanliness of restrooms, how a patient is greeted, the efficiency of paperwork, the accuracy of billing… Every little detail can make or break the patient experience.” Ideas for changes, large and small, are being generated by employees throughout the hospital. As explained by nursing manager Cass Nair, “This program is empowering those at the bedside to do what is best.”
Improving the patient experience is an ongoing project.
Strategies for continued improvement will continue to be adopted and refined to ensure the best experience, Via said. For example, a Patient and Family Advisory Council is currently reviewing signage and way-finding around the hospital campus. Their input will guide improvements. “We are a better team than we’ve ever been before,” Ogden said in her comments at the celebration luncheon. “We are going to continue to get better, faster and stronger. I am so proud of everyone.” Community members interested in joining the Patient and Family Advisory Council with ideas for improvements are asked to contact Theresa Via at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-557-6406.
Information and photo provided by SNLH.