Farmington Hills, Mich., September 21, 2006---The concept of rounds changes depending on who performs this function. Most think that rounds are what physicians do when making a series of calls on patients or in teaching situations with medical students. More recently, the concept has been applied to executives going on “walk arounds” for direct contact with employees in their departments or units. Physician, teaching and executive rounds occur at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. Botsford’s newest form of rounds is performed by the members of the hospital’s Service Excellence Council.
During customer satisfaction rounds, the rounders seek out the unit’s facilitator or manager to obtain a list of which patients should be visited. They carry a list of contacts who could be called to help solve patients’ concerns quickly. When a rounder enters a patient’s room, she introduces herself to the patient and to any family or friends present. She describes herself as a member of the Botsford Customer Satisfaction Team. Then, they have a chat about the patient’s satisfaction level with his hospital care experience. The rounder takes notes, facilitates immediate solutions and leaves a rounding sheet about the interaction for the unit manager. Both patients and rounders find the exchanges pleasant and useful.
According to Marge Hasler, R.N., Botsford administrator of nursing services and Service Excellence Council co-chair, “Council members speak with a single voice on the issue of improving our interactions with patients. By using the Customer Satisfaction Team to give extra attention to patients, we know that their perceptions of their care experience at Botsford will improve.”
Eventually, the goal will be for all patients at Botsford to receive a personal visit from a member of the Customer Satisfaction Team at some time during their stay. Thus far, the program has rolled out on the Progressive Care Unit and on the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Unit.
When Botsford planning specialist Bev Liberty went on a recent customer satisfaction round, she gained a deeper understanding of her own job: “I have been involved with Botsford’s patient satisfaction surveys for years and am familiar with reading patients’ concerns on the surveys. I felt each concern personally. But when I started doing customer satisfaction rounds, patients’ concerns become truly personal. It puts a face on each comment---good or bad---and allows me to make a difference to this person right now. During one of my first rounds, I encountered a woman with a food tray in front of her. She was very positive about Botsford. However, she had one immediate problem: she just had IV’s inserted into both hands, which were so sore that she couldn't use her eating utensils. And, she said she was so hungry. I put down my pen and paper and asked if she would allow me to feed dinner to her. She agreed. She ate; we talked. What an uplifting experience! It was such a small thing and took so little of my time, but was very rewarding for me. I hope it made a positive impression on this lovely woman. I felt privileged to meet her. I could have asked any of the wonderful PCU staff to help with this task, but they were busy doing things that I could not. I had the time to fulfill this need. Customer satisfaction rounds make a patient’s concerns and needs personal and give us the opportunity to make Botsford Service Excellence personal to our patients. Everybody wins.”
Botsford General Hospital, an independent, acute care, 330-bed community hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2005 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders award and the 2004 Governor’s Award of Excellence for Improving Care in the Hospital Setting (for treatment of heart attack) and Improving Care in the Emergency Department Setting (also for heart attack treatment). Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org.
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