Patient Experience Symposium: Boston, 2019
This past May, I attended the 2019 Patient Experience Symposium in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. During this three-day event, I connected with healthcare professionals and thought leaders from across the country working to transform the way people experience healthcare.
I participated in several sessions —but the most impactful were the ones that shared stories told by patients & other conference participants themselves. Some of us shared positive experiences that we’ve had with a health system, while others reflected on a time where the system had failed them altogether.
Each story reminded me of how lucky I am to work in an environment where providing a superior patient experience is a top priority. I couldn’t help but reflect on the real impact my colleagues and I have on the patients we serve on behalf of our health system partners.
Overall, I had three main takeaways from the event and how I believe we can help to improve the patient experience.
Handle Times and Patient Satisfaction
Traditionally, most call centers set goals for call handle times as a measure of agent performance. From my experience working with various healthcare call centers across the US, patient satisfaction greatly increases when agents really take the time to listen to the caller and aren’t worried about meeting handle time goals. Not only are our team members at Envera Health listening to verbal cues, but they listen for change in tone and other non-verbal cues. Our agents approach each conversation with compassion and empathy — taking the time they need to properly address the caller’s needs. Though we measure handle times to help us identify outliers, our top priority is a superior patient experience—no matter how long the interaction takes.
Success begins with the recruitment process
A big topic of discussion at the conference was how different call centers find and retain the best candidates to deliver a superior patient experience. I’ve learned that that hiring and retaining top-notch talent is the root of all customer success. And in order to provide the compassion and understanding each patient needs, you must implement a rigorous hiring process to get the right people in the door. At Envera Health, we screen potential employees through video interviews, in-person behavioral interviews, and pre-employment aptitude & personality testing. Our ongoing recruitment process ensures that we keep a continuous flow of candidates to fill the talent pipeline with the best of the best!
We have the power to re-write the healthcare experience
One of the most powerful moments during the week was an interactive exercise following the patient experience stories. Participants were told to stand on one side of the room if their personal story involved a negative experience, and the other side if it was positive. All the individuals with negative patient experience stories were asked to collaborate on ways they could ‘re-write’ their story to turn it into a positive experience.
This exercise really helped put my job and the mission of Envera Health into perspective. It reinforced for us that by working together, we can transform the future of healthcare and help patients to not only expect, but also to receive a positive experience every time the interact with a health system. Every call we take is a unique opportunity to touch someone during a time of need. My teammates and I strive to make each patient experience a positive, fulfilling one—and often, we are just the start of their healthcare journey.
I’m thankful to have been a part of this year’s symposium and look forward to returning next year to share and learn more about how we can continue our journey towards a superior patient experience.