The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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The last thing [Healthcare workers] should do is forget Press Ganey

An emergency department physician, and great friend, sent me an editorial he thought was a good read and I agreed with him. However, unknown to my friend, I had written about the same article the editorial was about because I thought, like the editorial, that the original article had the wrong idea suggesting healthcare workers embrace Press Ganey. So after reading the editorial my friend sent me and dissecting it, I sent it back to him with some added notes. (To view the notes: On the left of the page, click on the notes corresponding to the editorial's numbered highlighted comment then scroll right to read the corresponding note.)

The main theme of my notes was that although healthcare workers should NOT embrace customer satisfaction scores, Press Ganey or anyone else's, we should not be chastising others for trying to make a dollar where a dollar is to be made. The reason, because drug cartels would not exist if there were not a demand for illegal drugs. On the same note, it is likely Press Ganey and others similar would not exist if healthcare administrators did not surrender their employee management to others for the purpose of profit.

Earlier this year, another friend had sent me a copy of her state's legislation draft related to healthcare directed violence. That draft had similar intent as the above editorial, to do well, however, I thought the draft lacked subject matter expertise, substance, and most important, it lacked convincing intent to implement. So I did the same to her contribution, added my two sense [sic] and posted them as a blog.

Something else my two friend's submissions had in common was that those making their arguments hide behind patients and I say, "NO!" DO NOT hide behind patients to make your arguments as that is the "pawn" and scare tactics of the other side. Instead I say, Stand by your principles and show others that hiding behind patients and pinning one healthcare provider versus another provider is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to exponentiate profit. Because in healthcare, with doing the right thing should be profit enough.

On top of that, and yet again, customer satisfaction has nothing to do with the product, good medical care, and much less about the healthcare workers who provide it. If for anything, customer service is about filling the void where a product is inferior to the competition's product "up the street", and that is so in any industry, and why some believe they have to bend over to make up for the differences. In healthcare, patients do not complain about the medical care they received, instead, patients complain that their exaggerated unrealistic emotional expectations were not catered to, and, that has nothing to do with good medical care.

So yes, say NO to Press Ganey, and such. However, and more important, tell healthcare administrators to stand by their employees and cut ties with customer service statistics as the numbers, and the money invested, have not made any change in the past two decades they been at it. Just ask Fred Lee. He was one of the pioneers of such idiotology [sic] in the 1980's and he too agrees the needle has not moved.

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