Sunday, December 9, 2007

Support Services Evaluation

To quote Quint Studer from page 201 of Hardwiring Excellence, "To reach the 99th percentile in patient satisfaction...every employee must own service, not just those with direct patient contact." Here is his method for ensuring the quality of departments that don't necessarily have direct patient contact: Have the nurses to evaluate them. Nurses are the frontline providers of care, and they rely on all these other departments, laundry, dietary, maintenance, housekeeping, and such, in order to do their jobs. Nurses are also customers of the ancillary staff for this reason. For the support services evaluation, use a grid that matches each department with a variable you want to measure. Variables might include phone etiquette, accuracy, timeliness, and so forth. Also have some performance standards available so that the nurses know what expectations that these departments should be living up to. Have the nurses to rate the departments on a numerical scale. Then provide timely feedback to the appropriate department heads. These leaders need to be held accountable for their department's improvement, otherwise things will never improve. And that kinda defeats the entire purpose of quality improvement.

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