Service Action Teams Turn Front-Line
Staff into Patient Experience Ambassadors
UnityPoint Health is so invested in the concept of patient experience that it charges each member of its organization, whether healthcare provider or not, with a set of basic behaviors designed to improve it.
These four foundational behaviors, rooted in courtesy and common sense, drive the manner in which patients, families and visitors are greeted and assisted at all times.
"We know there are dozens of initiatives and tactics that can be used to help improve patient experience," said Paige Moore, director of patient experience at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, "But the four we chose were driven by patient and visitor comments and feedback."
Ms. Moore shared these behaviors, as well as an inside look at her organization's patient experience improvement plan, during Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan, a July 2017 webinar now available in on-demand and training formats.
In case you missed this webinar, you still have a chance to watch this highly-rated program.
Register to view the conference today or order your training DVD or CD:
Here's what participants said about the program:
"Good information, details to implement in any organization."
"This webinar went the extra step of hardwiring the process for success and was helpful for us."
Having established this system-wide behavior code for all employees, UnityPoint Health next looked at further enlisting its frontline staff in efforts to improve the patient experience. To do so, it created a set of seven service action teams, with two more in the works.
Each service action team is composed of at least 50 percent of that department’s frontline staff, rounded out by an executive sponsor and team lead.
"We want all of our team members to be actively engaged in the projects, to take responsibility for them, to be ambassadors and patient experience champions throughout the organization," explained Ms. Moore.
Each team reviews results from HCAHPS® and Press Ganey® patient experience surveys to identify department priorities, such as nurses’ narration of care, physicians’ use of clear language, or discharge or transfer processes.
UnityPoint Health launched its first service action team in 2014 for outpatient services. “This was our largest volume for surveys and it also had some of our lowest patient experience performance. We really wanted to get in and see what could we do to make the biggest impact on the highest number of our patients.”
Once that team developed some tactics to improve patient privacy concerns, wait times and registration processes, it saw improvements in those areas.
During the program, Ms. Moore outlined priorities and shared results from each service action team.
Importantly, there are two support service action teams: a measurements team to educate employees on the relevance of patient experience scores and their role in them, and a communications team to convey information on patient experience activities throughout UnityPoint Health. The health system also recently launched an “Excellence in Patient Experience” awards program.
And rounding out the program is the placement of patient experience directors like Ms. Moore throughout the organization, each supported by a physician champion.
Physician education in patient experience is ongoing, she added, whether during rounds or mandatory one-on-one shadowing and coaching for patient experience for all new hires.
You can "attend" this program right in your office and learn more about UnityPoint Health-Des Moines's patient experience improvement plan. It's so convenient! Invite your staff members to watch the conference. We will send you a DVD or CD-ROM of the conference proceedings or a link to our web site with a username and password. You can log in and view the program right from your computer — any time of the day or night, whenever convenient for you and your colleagues — and benefit from the archived recording of the conference, including the Q&A period.
You'll get to listen to the question and answer session to hear details on: staff training requirements for patient experience improvement; the role of a patient advisory council in improving the patient experience and how patients are selected; how patient experience awards are used to motivate staff; and how to eliminate episodes of managing down to improve the patient experience.
To register for the on-demand re-broadcast, download an .MP3 file or order the training DVD or CD-ROM of Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan, please visit:
You may also be interested in these patient engagement resources from the Healthcare Intelligence Network: