Here are some problems affecting patient satisfaction in registration areas at Ochsner Healthcare’s Northshore Region in Slidell, LA, that were solved:
• A clinic was changing some patients’ appointments with a physician to an appointment with a nurse practitioner, without telling the patients in advance.
“The patient was notified by registration at the time of arrival,” says patient access director Tanya Powell, CHAM. The issue was resolved by notifying the patient and obtaining permission first.
• Patients complained that some of the questions were awkwardly worded in a Pain Management Consult Questionnaire.
“The patient would have to report to the registrar to get clarifications,” says Powell. “It caused some frustration.” Patient access reported the problem to clinical management, who, in turn, contacted the hospital’s Forms Committee to get the wording changed.
• Some patients arrived late for clinic appointments because street numbers weren’t clearly visible.
Patient access staff worked with administration and environmental services staff to fix the problem. “Signs were enlarged, and wooden signs were placed in front of the building,” says Powell. “We placed an awning over the sidewalk for our patients arriving for the physical therapy department.”
• Patients with scheduled radiology appointments weren’t happy with unexplained delays.
Powell met with the radiology manager to discuss the problem. Together, they decided to have technicians come to explain the reason for delays to patients.
“Often, a ‘stat’ imaging request is called to the inpatient floor or ED,” Powell says. “That can cause a delay to the scheduled appointments.”
Instead of just keeping the patient waiting, someone on the clinical team explains what’s going on. “They announce the duration of the delay,” says Powell. “They also answer any questions, such as if they can have some ice chips, a cough drop, or caffeine while they wait.”