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N = Ned: a voice to change how care is delivered

In our last blog, Brian Wynne described how one patient’s voice changed the mission of an organization—its heartbeat. This week, I’d like to share how the transparent sharing of a voice can change a person forever—as well as change the way care is delivered.

Aligning with Healthcare’s Transparency Movement
Ned is 67 years old. He has three grown children and lives in the suburbs with his wife. He’s been a pediatrician with Pediatric Medicine for over 30 years. He’s been delivering care the best way he knows how—for decades—but as the healthcare industry evolves, so too must Dr. Ned.

The Pediatric Medicine board attended an educational conference where they learn about the transparency trend among the nation’s leading hospitals: converting patient feedback into online star ratings and reviews for their doctors—a practice that not only leads to better informed consumer decision-making, but also drives change and improvement within the care setting.

The board and hospital leadership decided to align around the importance of implementing a transparency program at Pediatric Medicine. This decision sets in motion a series of changes at Pediatric Medicine and therefore, changes for Ned.

Get a clear picture of the moment, in the moment.

Pediatric Medicine moves to a patient feedback system that provides more responses, faster to power their ratings and reviews. This provides an up-to-date picture of the kind of care each provider gives and helps identify near-in improvement opportunities. So, what does this look like for Ned?

Pediatric Medicine sets up an internal preview environment for their transparency program. Allowing their physicians to see what their star ratings and reviews look like before Pediatric Medicine publishes them to their online doctor profile pages.

Ned logs in to his profile and is shocked. His rating is 3.7 stars, which is 1 full star less than the Pediatric Medicine average. Puzzled by his rating relative to his peers, Ned looks to patient feedback for answers.

He reads through the comments associated with 1-2 star ratings and finds a common theme: his patients’ parents do not feel listened to. One mother, Nora, said, “I feel so afraid for my baby. I don’t understand his condition and I’m scared of what the future holds for him… if anything.”

Respond to feedback and improve.

Nora’s feedback is a wake-up call for Dr. Ned. He knows he has to make some changes and enrolls in one of Pediatric Medicine’s training modules on communicating with empathy. Over the next six months, he works diligently to improve his bedside manner and take the time to make sure his patients know their wellbeing is what matters most to him.

By the time Pediatric Medicine “goes live” with doctor star ratings and reviews, Dr. Ned—as well as the majority of providers—are able to improve their star ratings by listening to the voices of those they serve. Their new and improved reputation primes them to be selected by innumerable new patients and their renewed commitment to delivering an exceptional patient experience is bound to make those new patients loyal.

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