I can hardly believe the months have rolled to December. Everywhere you look, you see decorations and festivities. Nearly every store is playing holiday music and children are undoubtedly dreaming of wonderful things to come. I know I am. I’m starting to see some of those wonderful things right here at UCR Health. In fact, our Performance Excellence Department has been hosting focus groups with our frontline staff to listen to their challenges and suggested solutions for improving day-to-day workflow. What have we discovered? That we have many effective processes in place with an equal number of items we can spread to improve patient satisfaction.
It’s our goal to be as effective as possible, with communication, both internally with each other and with our patients, and externally, with the community. It’s our goal to spread effective practices amongst all, even as we spread good cheer.
The initial focus group meeting was held, in October, at Citrus Tower with front and back office staff represented from various departments and clinics. The inaugural meeting focused on how UCR Health might improve our Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores and the total amount of time the patient spends at their in-person appointment. Key outcomes from the meeting include:
- Sharing of effective practices to build rapport with patients, utilization of emotional intelligence to assess and engage patient needs. For example, adjusting the lights for patients with a history of migraine, addressing anxiety or fear with children visiting their physician through conversation, and utilizing light-hearted humor when appropriate.
- Respecting patients by informing them at the time of scheduling if they’ll be seeing a resident, as well as letting them know if their provider is running behind when they check-in. The focus group was instrumental in evaluating and identifying the Press Ganey effective practice to notify patients of wait times upon check-in. Their recommended process will be finalized at an upcoming meeting and then spread to each clinic.
- Identification and sharing of effective practices to help keep providers on-time for patient appointments, which includes knocking on doors, notifying the provider between patients, and using Epic chat.
During our discussion, feedback regarding the need to conduct an assessment to determine what forms and/or questionnaires should be transitioned for the patient to complete during the pre-check-in process, rather than in the office. We’re happy to report this work is currently in progress! Future focus group sessions are being scheduled. To assure effective practices from the focus groups are spread, key outcomes will be shared with department chairs and clinic managers following each session.
There is always work to be done and we will continue to do it, together, as we build UCR Health into one of the best healthcare facilities in the Inland Empire. Indeed, all of Southern California.
I know I say this nearly every message but I couldn’t be prouder of what we’re accomplishing.
I tend to get nostalgic at this time of year. I suppose I get wrapped up in the festivities, the general mood of people, even the music. Much of it is overdone and over-played, but it helps to put things into perspective. What’s important are friends, and family, colleagues, our work, and our patients.
Abraham Lincoln said, “When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two-thirds of the time thinking about what they want to hear, and one-third thinking about what I want to say.” Each of us can benefit from spending a bit more time thinking about others, listening to different perspectives and points of view, and seeking to understand how we can give more to this world we live in than we take.
And so, at this festive time of year, I want to extend my personal wishes to each and every one of you for an incredible holiday season, one filled with love, laughter, safety, and good health.