Research By: Holly Kennedy-Symonds, RN, MHSc, Michelle Kaarto, CSEP, CEP, BScK, Boaz Y. Saffer, B.A., Michael Koehle, M.D., Ph.D., Peter House, M.D., CMO, Rick Tiedemann, Chris Nedelmann, MBA , Les Jickling, MBA
Presented at: Accelerating Primary Care Conference 2014 in West Edmonton
In Canada, quality has been framed in the context of patient outcomes and with less focus on the patient experience, yet designing health care delivery for this purpose helps patients work in partnership with providers, overcome anxiety, lessens discomfort and optimizes healing. Ultimately designing delivery of services with the patient’s experience forefront, is integral to overall quality care. Health care can be framed as a guest service. Our patients are guests of the service we provide. Embedding service excellence as a strategic priority in everything we do is integral to quality.
At Copeman Healthcare, we test this out by surveying patients on their experience at regular intervals and use their feedback to trigger regular quality review and develop improvements. As a result, patients are happier and the team is happier. Surveys are completed annually as well as following an assessment. These results are presented in Tables 1 & 2.
Response means for the EUROPEP questions varied between 4.42 – 4.82 out of a maximum of 5. here were no statistical differences between Copeman Healthcare centres across Provinces. In comparison to the countries surveyed, Copeman Healthcare scored highest on eight of the seventeen EUROPEP questions with many of the differences being statistically significant. Of the remaining nine questions, Copeman Healthcare typically ranked among the top five countries. Results are stable, with no significant differences on repeated measures in 2013 and 2014.
Integration of clinical service excellence into everything we do takes an intentional focus, plan and accountability at the individual, team and organization level. The key to system integration is multi-level; organizations are wise to set service excellence as a key organizational priority; recruiters may need prompts to ask new hires about their training and experience in service excellence, service excellence integrated in the onboarding and performance review of new staff and physicians; team meetings and quality review rounds to monitor & reset standards for service excellence and review on a regular basis; hosting patient feedback sessions and inviting feedback.
Managing the patient experience with understanding expectations and managing those expectations well at the start of their healthcare journey with frequent check-in to assess whether the patient’s expectations are being met and whether they feel valued and important. The sum of these integrated activities and surveillance across the organization, system, team and individual creates a culture of learning, appreciation and continuous quality improvement for the patients we serve, the individual providers, the teams we lead and the organization as a whole.