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Patient Satisfaction and the Challenge of Winning Provider Engagement [Podcast]

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
cleveland clinic summit[2014 Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Speaker Podcast] In our continuing series of leadership interviews, Lonnie Hirsch of Healthcare Success talks with Gus Taylor, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at Florida Medical Clinic about his forthcoming presentation at the 5th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy Plus Innovation Summit hosted in Cleveland, Ohio by Cleveland Clinic from May 18-21.

“In our clinic, one of the biggest challenges is provider engagement. It’s the need to convince the providers that this is important,” according to Gus Taylor, CAO at Florida Medical Clinic. In this recorded conversation with Lonnie Hirsch, Gus previewed his upcoming Patient Experience Summit presentation.

“Regardless of how pleasant the staff can be, at the end of the day, if the provider is running an hour late, or if the provider does not give the patient the attention they need, it doesn’t necessarily matter how good the staff is,” he told Lonnie. “We have to make sure that our providers are fully engaged, that they run on time, and that we have the proper office work flow to make that happen.”

Among the highlights of this podcast, Gus described the impetus for Florida Medical Clinic’s commitment to high levels of patient satisfaction. He told us: “We want to be the patient’s number one choice for healthcare in our community, and we realize that healthcare today is a business where patients do have options.

“To be honest, when we first took the AMGA (American Medical Group Association) survey, we took it to find out how good we are. But what we found out was…we’re not nearly as good as we thought. The “days of old” in healthcare—where people [accepted] long wait times and unfriendly doctors—are long gone. Patients deserve our best, and we need to make sure that we provide the best every day.”

Florida Medical Clinic’s wide, multi-location service area—seeing about 5,000 patients each day—provides additional challenges due to the diversity in demographics. Gus explained that, “We definitely see significant differences among our locations, as well as between our staff and our providers.

“We developed internal customer service programs with incentives or employees, but we have had difficulty with engaging providers. [Providers] have time constraints that sometimes get in the way of educating them about what we are trying to do.”

Patient experience recommendations…

In the following recorded conversation, Gus outlined his recommendations for a healthcare organization that is prepared to make a serious commitment to improved patient satisfaction and customer service.

He told Lonnie, “I believe that you begin by assessing your current level and setting a benchmark, then setting goals for where you want to be, and measure and track the progress. You have to be willing to commit money and time—from the top down as well as from the bottom up—to make this work.

“You have to make it fun, so that everyone will participate. And you have to be flexible and willing to change. Figure out what works (or doesn’t work) for your clinic, your office or for a particular location, and be willing to change if necessary. And then continually assess and reevaluate to be sure the program is paying dividends.”

For more about these and more patient experience insight, listen to our conversation and these highlights from Gus Taylor summit presentation:

Listen to our podcast!

Individuals who will be at the Patient Experience Summit will want to attend Gus Taylor’s presentation on Monday, May 19th. [Check Agenda]

FOR MORE in this continuing educational leadership series, previous Healthcare Success interviews are available on this page. And for more information about the Cleveland Clinic 5th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit, click through to this page.

# # #

Gus Taylor is the Chief Administrative Officer (CA) for the Florida Medical Clinic. Founded in 1993, Florida Medical Clinic is a multi-specialty group with over 250 providers representing 33 medical specialties and 36 locations throughout Pasco and Hillsborough Counties.

Lonnie Hirsch and Stewart Gandolf will be speaking at the Summit where Healthcare Success is also a Supporting Partner for the patient experience conference at the Cleveland Convention Center, May 18 -21, 2014.

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