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.

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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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