Quality & Safety
Patient-Centeredness: Outpatient Satisfaction
Why is this measure important?
Each year, our clinics schedule more than 500,000 outpatient visits. While it is critical that our patients receive the best medical care possible during these outpatient visits, it is also important that patients and families have the best possible experience while visiting our outpatient clinics. That’s why we ask parents (or, in some cases, adolescents and adult patients) to complete a satisfaction survey as they leave their appointment.
How do we track this measure?
We collect information from the satisfaction survey that is given to all parents as they leave their appointment. For this measure, we look at one question on the survey (“Overall, how would you rate the care your child/you received at this visit?”) to see how we did. Our goal is to have 100% of parents and patients rate our care as “excellent.”
How do we compare to other hospitals?
In the summer of 2012, 65% of parents rated their outpatient experience as “excellent.” This was an improvement over previous years. Since other children’s hospitals do not use the same outpatient satisfaction survey that we do, it is difficult to compare our performance with other children’s hospitals. However, our performance does not meet our target of 100%.
What are we doing to improve?
Several years ago, Boston Children’s launched its “Exceptional Care, Exceptional Service” program, which provides training to our staff on customer service and solicits suggestions from employees on how to improve the patient and family experience. To date, more than 8,400 staff members have been trained, and many excellent suggestions continue to be received and implemented.
Boston Children’s has also identified those clinics that have higher patient satisfaction scores and shared their best practices with others, in an effort to boost patient satisfaction throughout all of our clinics. As a result of this program, all of our clinics have been able to implement at least one new idea to improve patient satisfaction.
We are also looking closely at situations in which parents and patients have had less than ideal experiences to understand what caused the dissatisfaction and what we can do about it.
Finally, we have implemented a number of other programs to recognize outstanding service and improve the patient and family experience. They include:
- Our “Employee of the Month” program, which recognizes staff members who provide excellent customer service;
- Our “Way to Shine” program, which provides on-the-spot recognition to staff members who provide outstanding customer service;
- A special effort to improve customer service among front desk staff. As a result of this effort, we have seen significant improvements in making patients feel welcomed.