Turning the Battleship and Building a Better Healthcare Experience

turn the big patient satisfaction shipI don’t know how much time or distance is needed for a battleship to turn around. We’re talking about one of those really big navy ships or even a 1,000-foot, 250,000 metric ton cargo vessel. What everyone knows is that a “really big boat” doesn’t turn or stop or do anything quickly.

The concept of reversing course seems about as easy as relocating an entire four-story building by one city block. Or about the same as a hospital or medical practice effectively creating a patient experience program. The biggest stumbling block, according to a recent HealthLeaders survey, is “changing organizational culture.”

The new consumer and better experience mindset…

Patients have become informed consumers and they expect a better healthcare experience and greater satisfaction. Much like the battleship analogy, the enormous size and complexity of an institution is a challenge in a million ways. Plus, inspiring a significant change (a reversal of course) must contend with years of deeply entrenched tradition.

While technology smoothes over some parts of this bumpy road, the organizational culture—and the individual providers in particular—must make changes in the way they have always practiced.

Healthcare shoppers and switchers…

There are three extremely compelling reasons for effectively turning the healthcare vessel from its old-school culture and course. Surveys by Kelton Global among US providers reveal:

  • 88 percent of patients would switch healthcare providers without hesitation if dissatisfied
  • 92 percent of Millennials are likely to switch providers if not completely satisfied
  • 94 percent of patients shop for healthcare services more than in the past

Statistically speaking, that’s nearly everyone. You might say that it’s a tough house. But it turns out that the top five things that patients say would improve their satisfaction don’t seem to be that tough or demanding [Kelton Global]:

  • Shorter wait times (50 percent)
  • Advance knowledge of treatment costs (49 percent)
  • Not feeling rushed during appointments (47 percent)
  • Providers having a high level of expertise treating specific illnesses (44 percent)
  • Easy to schedule appointments (41 percent)

Surprisingly, some of the largest health systems in the nation have been able to reverse the course of the giant healthcare ship. Most notably, there’s our story about the Cleveland Clinic, and how Patient Experience is Not Just About Patient Satisfaction.

And, regardless of the size of the organization, major change requires time and space. The leaders in this convoy are setting a new course for greater satisfaction and success.


About Kathy Roy Gaughran

Senior Marketing Strategist Kathy Roy Gaughran [Kathy@healthcaresuccess.com] has helped thousands of clients throughout North America achieve their growth goals. An award-winning strategic marketing planner, Kathy is an accomplished writer and speaker, frequently presenting to national, local and state professional associations.

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