Communicating Effectively:
Strategies to Ensure the Quality of
Communication with Patients

Blair Wright
Executive VP, Bus...
Defining Patient Experience
Key Elements
Stakeholders
Influences
So…What is the Patient Experience?
Key Elements
Critical to the understanding and application of this definition is a
broader explanation of its key elements...
A Clear Priority

SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT
EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN ...
But Still Lacking Structure

SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT
EXPERIENCE I...
Mostly Managed by Committee

SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT
EXPERIENCE I...
Not Just Another Initiative

“Experience is not just another
initiative you can measure and plan
your way through, it requ...
What Impacts Patient Experience?
Patient’s perception of healthcare goes
beyond excellent medical attention

Patient exper...
Patient Experience & Profits
According to Press Ganey,
patient satisfaction and profits are
positively correlated, and hos...
Value of Patient Loyalty
Positive patient
experiences formulate
loyalties

Patient loyalty
influences future
decisions abo...
Value of Patient Loyalty
Lifetime Value of the Patient Relationship
• Net provider revenue generated by a patient in their...
How is it Formed?
“Comprised of every impression and encounter a patient
(or family member) has with your health system.

...
Communication:
Are You Getting Through?
First & Last Impressions
Perception of Care
Impact of Communication
Revenue Cycle Impact
Pre-service
communications set the
tone for the entire
encounter

Post-service
communication may be
l...
Setting the Tone
Patient
experience
begins in
Patient Access
First phone
call or
face-to-face
sets the tone

• Obtain corr...
Patient Access Touch Points

Physician scripts

Consents and
authorizations

Insurance benefits
verification

Prior author...
Patient Expectations
Information regarding benefits
Prior auth and/or precert completed prior to service
Knowledge of cost...
10 Most Common Patient Complaints
Difficulty scheduling an appointment
Long wait times

Rude or uncaring staff
Lack of coo...
Perception & Clinical Satisfaction
Satisfied with
Billing Experience

Unsatisfied with
Billing Experience

93% Satisfied
w...
Perception of Care
3 of 4 patients rate hospital quality
based on perception of care
rather than objective measures.

Sour...
HCAHPS & Communication
The strongest predictor of overall HCAHPS
scores is how patients rate provider
communication skills...
Patient Financial
Communications
New Best Practices
NEW – Patient Financial Communications
Just announced Oct. 29, 2013 at HFMA MAP event in Fort Lauderdale

Release of new i...
Patient Financial Communications Best Practices

“These common-sense best practices bring
consistency, clarity, and transp...
Time of Service

Pre-Registration Discussions
Maintain a thread of registration, insurance
verification and financial coun...
All Settings
Incorporate compassion, patient advocacy
and education in all patient discussions
Use standard language to gu...
Measurement Criteria for Best Practices
Ensure compliance through observation,
monitoring and tracking of results

Cover a...
Strategies to Ensure Effective
Communication
Scripting
Recording
Quality Review
Scripting
Impact of Key Words at Key Times
Clear, Accurate Communication
Call recording
Face-to-face communication
QA reviews
Quality measures, competency reviews
Tr...
Voice Recording
Authorizations, certifications, referrals
Physician calls
Verbal orders from on-call physicians
Scheduling...
Quality Assurance
Perform consistent, objective QA of communication;
quickly pinpoint issues & training needs

• Score car...
Quality Assurance – Sample Scorecard
Not Just What You Say…
but How You Say It
3 Levels of Listening
Effective Listening
Care & Empathy
Drilling Down: Active Listening

3 Levels
of
Listening:

• Level 1 – Not hearing, not listening
• Level 2 – Hearing, not l...
What makes an effective listener?

Don’t interrupt, don’t jump to conclusions
Ask the right questions

Take notes
Concentr...
Care & Empathy

95% of the time….WHAT you say and HOW you
say it determines the outcome of the interaction
Take ownership ...
Thank You!

Questions?
Contact:
Blair Wright
Executive VP of Business Development
The White Stone Group, Inc.
blair.wright...
Resources
More information about strategies to improve
patient experience are available through the
organizations listed b...
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Communicating Effectively: Strategies to Ensure the Quality of Communication with Patients

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Blair Wright (The White Stone Group, Inc.) presenting to Massachusetts Association of Hospital Access Managers (MAHAM) on how the quality of communicating with patients is directly linked to the perceived quality of care.

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Communicating Effectively: Strategies to Ensure the Quality of Communication with Patients

  1. 1. Communicating Effectively: Strategies to Ensure the Quality of Communication with Patients Blair Wright Executive VP, Business Development The White Stone Group
  2. 2. Defining Patient Experience Key Elements Stakeholders Influences
  3. 3. So…What is the Patient Experience?
  4. 4. Key Elements Critical to the understanding and application of this definition is a broader explanation of its key elements Interactions The orchestrated touch-points of people, processes, policies, communications, actions, and environment Culture The vision, values, people (at all levels and in all parts of the organization) and community Perceptions What is recognized, understood and remembered by patients and support people. Perceptions vary based on individual experiences such as beliefs, values, cultural background, etc. Continuum of Care Before, during, and after the delivery of care SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN HOSPITALS 2013: POSITIVE TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE, JASON A. WOLF, PH.D., PRESIDENT
  5. 5. A Clear Priority SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN HOSPITALS 2013: POSITIVE TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE, JASON A. WOLF, PH.D., PRESIDENT
  6. 6. But Still Lacking Structure SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN HOSPITALS 2013: POSITIVE TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE, JASON A. WOLF, PH.D., PRESIDENT
  7. 7. Mostly Managed by Committee SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN HOSPITALS 2013: POSITIVE TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE, JASON A. WOLF, PH.D., PRESIDENT
  8. 8. Not Just Another Initiative “Experience is not just another initiative you can measure and plan your way through, it requires direct, personal and in-the-moment efforts to achieve the greatest results.” SOURCE: A REPORT ON THE BERYL INSTITUTE BENCHMARKING STUDY, THE STATE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN HOSPITALS 2013: POSITIVE TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE, JASON A. WOLF, PH.D., PRESIDENT
  9. 9. What Impacts Patient Experience? Patient’s perception of healthcare goes beyond excellent medical attention Patient experience goes beyond beautiful facilities Consumers spending more income on health premiums and out-of-pocket costs
  10. 10. Patient Experience & Profits According to Press Ganey, patient satisfaction and profits are positively correlated, and hospitals can increase profits by 2-5% by improving patient satisfaction.
  11. 11. Value of Patient Loyalty Positive patient experiences formulate loyalties Patient loyalty influences future decisions about choosing a healthcare provider Consumerism and patient choice are the epicenter of future revenue opportunities Self-pay revenue impacts the entire organization’s net patient revenue stream
  12. 12. Value of Patient Loyalty Lifetime Value of the Patient Relationship • Net provider revenue generated by a patient in their lifetime U.S. averages • Individual: $193,000 • Average 2.7 person household: $521,000 Impacted primarily by patient’s level of loyalty to the provider
  13. 13. How is it Formed? “Comprised of every impression and encounter a patient (or family member) has with your health system. “Whether it's making a phone call for additional information, scheduling an appointment, “or whether your website is easy to navigate, every interaction impacts patient perception.”
  14. 14. Communication: Are You Getting Through? First & Last Impressions Perception of Care Impact of Communication
  15. 15. Revenue Cycle Impact Pre-service communications set the tone for the entire encounter Post-service communication may be last touch point a patient has with the organization These interactions are about health and money; two of the most emotional subjects we deal with as humans.
  16. 16. Setting the Tone Patient experience begins in Patient Access First phone call or face-to-face sets the tone • Obtain correct information • Schedule and register patient appropriately • Ensure services are covered and reimbursed • Staff scripted with opening and closing scripts • Specialized training in customer service
  17. 17. Patient Access Touch Points Physician scripts Consents and authorizations Insurance benefits verification Prior authorization Notification of admission Patient out-of-pocket estimate Financial Counseling/Medicaid Eligibility Identify payer sources
  18. 18. Patient Expectations Information regarding benefits Prior auth and/or precert completed prior to service Knowledge of costs and out-of-pocket expectations Services are covered by insurance company
  19. 19. 10 Most Common Patient Complaints Difficulty scheduling an appointment Long wait times Rude or uncaring staff Lack of coordination of care Poor/ineffective treatment Uncomfortable or unclean environment Billing problems Unprofessional conduct Poor patient-provider communication Unreturned calls
  20. 20. Perception & Clinical Satisfaction Satisfied with Billing Experience Unsatisfied with Billing Experience 93% Satisfied with Clinical 63% Satisfied with Clinical Source: “Study Shows Link between Patient Satisfaction with Billing Experience and Clinical Satisfaction,” Executive Insight, ©2011.
  21. 21. Perception of Care 3 of 4 patients rate hospital quality based on perception of care rather than objective measures. Source: Professional Research Consultants, National Consumer Perception Study, 2006.
  22. 22. HCAHPS & Communication The strongest predictor of overall HCAHPS scores is how patients rate provider communication skills. Source: Bavis and Fulton, Press Ganey Whitepaper, 2008.
  23. 23. Patient Financial Communications New Best Practices
  24. 24. NEW – Patient Financial Communications Just announced Oct. 29, 2013 at HFMA MAP event in Fort Lauderdale Release of new industry-wide best practices for improving and standardizing how healthcare organizations communicate with patients about financial issues Best practices developed by group representing healthcare organizations, physicians, payers, and patient advocates Healthcare organizations have the opportunity to achieve adopter recognition to demonstrate core commitment to best practices
  25. 25. Patient Financial Communications Best Practices “These common-sense best practices bring consistency, clarity, and transparency to patient financial communications, and outline steps to help patients understand the cost of services they receive, their insurance coverage, and their individual responsibility.”
  26. 26. Time of Service Pre-Registration Discussions Maintain a thread of registration, insurance verification and financial counseling discussions If these discussions took place during preregistration, no need to repeat
  27. 27. All Settings Incorporate compassion, patient advocacy and education in all patient discussions Use standard language to guide staff in common types of discussions Resolve issues face-to-face when able
  28. 28. Measurement Criteria for Best Practices Ensure compliance through observation, monitoring and tracking of results Cover all relevant parts of the Patient Financial Communications Best Practices in evaluation Consolidate reports from all and share with executive leadership
  29. 29. Strategies to Ensure Effective Communication Scripting Recording Quality Review
  30. 30. Scripting Impact of Key Words at Key Times
  31. 31. Clear, Accurate Communication Call recording Face-to-face communication QA reviews Quality measures, competency reviews Training
  32. 32. Voice Recording Authorizations, certifications, referrals Physician calls Verbal orders from on-call physicians Scheduling calls Pricing hotline/estimates Patient calls on nurse help-line Calls in Emergency Department Customer service calls In-person encounters
  33. 33. Quality Assurance Perform consistent, objective QA of communication; quickly pinpoint issues & training needs • Score cards and reports: Track and trend quality scores by team, agent or focus area • Review with staff: Share recordings and reports for training and performance improvement • Performance evaluation: Tie QA scores to employee evaluations, incentives & recognition
  34. 34. Quality Assurance – Sample Scorecard
  35. 35. Not Just What You Say… but How You Say It 3 Levels of Listening Effective Listening Care & Empathy
  36. 36. Drilling Down: Active Listening 3 Levels of Listening: • Level 1 – Not hearing, not listening • Level 2 – Hearing, not listening • Level 3 – Hearing and listening for: • Content – the stated needs • Intent/Emotion – the unstated needs
  37. 37. What makes an effective listener? Don’t interrupt, don’t jump to conclusions Ask the right questions Take notes Concentrate, prepare in advance Use interjections or acknowledgements Check your attitude
  38. 38. Care & Empathy 95% of the time….WHAT you say and HOW you say it determines the outcome of the interaction Take ownership – you are there for them Assure – you will handle their situation Paraphrase – acknowledge what they have said so they know you are listening
  39. 39. Thank You! Questions? Contact: Blair Wright Executive VP of Business Development The White Stone Group, Inc. blair.wright@twsg.com 865.405.2268 www.TraceCommunication.com
  40. 40. Resources More information about strategies to improve patient experience are available through the organizations listed below: • The Beryl Institute – www.berylinstitute.org • Baptist Leadership Group – www.bhclg.com • Association for Patient Experience www.patient-experience.org/

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