April: Best month ever for patient satisfaction

Memorial Hospital celebrates teamwork, collaboration
July 6, 2016
vicki and lillie morrison

When the final numbers from patient experience surveys were tallied for the month of April, Memorial Hospital celebrated.

At a morning safety briefing where employees rally to talk about improving care for every patient, stickers that said, “86th percentile, I am the patient experience,’’ were distributed to employees who wore them proudly.
Memorial Hospital staff held an impromptu celebration of Lillie Morrison’s WWII service during Patient Experience week.
The numbers showed that Memorial Hospital ended the month in the top 14 percent of hospitals nationwide – a giant leap in satisfaction outcomes.

“It happened because of teamwork and a lot of collaboration with everyone. We’ve done a lot of things. When patients come to Memorial, it’s about the person we are caring for. We’re listening and showing that we care,’’ said Holly Urban, director of acute care services for Memorial.

“There’s a certain confidence among our staff at the bedside and beyond the bedside,’’ she said.

In surveys, patients are providing positive feedback, with comments like these:

• “Care given was wonderful”

• “At this point nothing could be improved upon. I was impressed with everyone from Drs. (Larry) Butler and (Joseph) Maslak to the entire nursing staff, to the pleasant lady from housekeeping. All were focused on me and my health.”

• “I truly appreciated being included in ’rounds’ changeover so I could make sure I understood who would be seeing us the next day and what their plan was. It also gave me a perfect platform to explain our previous hospitalizations so the caregivers all understood my son’s background.”

Robin Rogers, director of the Office of Patient Experience at Memorial Hospital, said that employees are doing a much better job of shaping the entire patient experience.

“There’s a sense of pride, people are taking care of their environment. If employees see a lost visitor, we are seeing more staff walk the patient or the visitor to where they need to go,’’ Rogers said.

While focus on the patient experience has been an internal push at the hospital, in April, employees were encouraged to talk about how Memorial wants to make every patient’s experience the best that it can be.

During one week in April – Patient Experience Week – employees held an impromptu celebration for a woman who had served in the Navy during World War II. Lillie Morrison fell ill en route to Washington, D.C. A local TV station, KOAA, and the Colorado Springs Gazette covered the story.

“We spent a week talking about the patient experience to everyone, not just to staff but to patients and visitors and the media. We are talking about the great things that we do and sometimes in the patient experience world, just talking about what we are doing makes everyone aware, and that’s pretty profound,’’ Rogers said.
TJustin JohnsonJustin Johnson, a valet at Memorial, went out of his way to help a woman get a ride home.
Providing excellent patient care, Rogers said, takes all employees – clinical and non-clinical. The recent story of valet Justin Johnson, who reached into his own pocket to provide cab fare for a woman who did not have a ride home, illustrates the extraordinary effort underway. In addition, she said, the story of a volunteer violinist, Bryant So, a dedicated 17-year-old from Rampart High School who fills the lobby of Memorial Hospital North with soothing music, is an example of trying to create a comforting environment and experience for patients and visitors.

Rogers said she equates patient experience in a hospital with hospitality in your home.

“It’s kind of like having someone whom you don’t know into your home. You wouldn’t let that person walk around by themself. You’d stay beside them and show them where a few things are and you would establish a trust. You’re probably not going to leave them alone in your house, and it’s the same in the hospital – we’re holding their hand every step of the way,’’ Rogers said.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.