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#SROA2020 Highlights: Improving the Patient Experience

By Tammy McCausland

SROA President Brenda Marie Palo welcomed participants to the society’s 37th annual and first Virtual Annual Meeting on Monday, October 26. She introduced John Cashion, this year’s keynote speaker.

“Every patient, every time, always.” is a strong motto to adopt, said Cashion, practice director from The Ritz-Carlton’s Leadership Center. Cashion’s keynote focused on improving customer satisfaction in health care by applying standards of practice the hotel chain uses. He identified several keywords integral to customer satisfaction: attitude, consistency, expectations, choice and trust.

Service is a mindset, Cashion explained, because “You never know who you’re serving and you have to be on all the time.” Cashion spoke about trust, which he said, is the hard thing to earn and the easiest thing to lose. Empathy is also key because, without it, you’re simply providing a transactional service.

“Engagement of employees ties into engagement of patients,” he said. The hospitality industry, and the healthcare industry, have high turnover rates. The Ritz-Carlton has a comprehensive onboarding program. After their initial training, they bring new hires back 21 days into their job—because it takes 21 days to create a habit—and gather feedback to see how the employees are doing. They also bring employees back at day 365 to celebrate their one year of service.

Cashion highlighted an engagement study, which says that 32 percent of employees are “Superstars” or “Invincibles,” which means they’re energized and committed to their work; 51 percent are “Just There,” which means they show up and do what is expected, but little more; and 17 percent are “CAVE,” which means they’re disengaged and they destroy relationships.

In choosing employees, he said, “select for attitude first, skills second.” You can ask prospective hires, “Why health care, and why this organization?” If you make a hire, but you find you can’t develop them up, develop them out.

We want to hear from you!

Did you attend the keynote session? If so, what is a key takeaway from the session? 


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