Customer satisfaction essential for hospitals' success

Press Ganey scores on things like foodservice determine amount of Medicare funds a hospital receives.

March 20—The picky patient who complains about hospital food or a wait in the emergency room could mean the difference between a hospital getting a full Medicare reimbursement and a reduced payment beginning this fall.

The stakes are higher than ever for hospitals to improve the patient experience. Starting in October, it could mean millions of dollars for hospitals as patient satisfaction for the first time is factored into how much Medicare reimburses for the care of senior citizens.

"One bad meal can mean a bad patient satisfaction score," said Fred Brown, managing director for consulting firm Ducker Worldwide in Troy.

And Metro Detroit hospitals are jumping into action, retraining employees in customer service and offering perks such as made-to-order room service meals and VIP lounges to cater to patients and their families.

"The luxury of the rooms is becoming an important factor, and the kind of food you're getting is becoming an important factor," Brown said.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bowling ball pins

We patterned our chef culinary competition after the one pioneered by the University of Massachusetts. This year, 11 teams of college chefs registered. Each team gets the same market basket and has two hours to prepare three dishes. The starting times have to be staggered and nobody wants the 6 a.m. slot, so instead of randomly assigning times, this year we took the teams bowling and used their scores to determine starting times. The two teams with the highest combined bowling score got to pick their time slot first. Going bowling built camaraderie and team spirit before the teams even got...

Managing Your Business
performance review anxiety

For all the most obvious reasons, managers and staff don’t always agree. But both sides can get behind retiring annual performance reviews, according to a January survey from software company Adobe, which quit the practice in 2012. There, 64% of surveyed workers and 62% of supervisors consider yearly evaluations outdated.

“My philosophy is if I have to wait a year to tell you where you stand, it’s a little too late,” says Al Ferrone, senior director of dining services at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ferrone and other operators are reforming the meetings to add real...

Ideas and Innovation
woman sick phone bed

Our employees have paid time off, but if they don’t call in at least one hour before their scheduled shift, their PTO will be docked for the day. We also assign points for unapproved absences. Everyone starts with a freebie, and when they get to 4, then we start the disciplinary action process. When a staff member gets to 10 points, that is grounds for termination.

Ideas and Innovation
app mobile

The capacity of our dining room is 135 guests, and most evenings we serve closer to 160. At times, this led to some residents waiting for a table, especially at peak hours. Our new table management software allows diners to request specific meal times via a mobile app and allows us to space out our service, greatly reducing the wait times and allowing dining staff to prepare each table in advance of their arrival.

FSD Resources