Patient satisfaction has been one of our main areas of focus since CHRISTUS was formed in 1999. As we have moved through this journey to ensure that our care is compassionate as well as excellent in clinical quality, we have seen other health systems take note of the importance of patient satisfaction, especially with the national HCAHPS survey.
When I have confronted physicians and Associates over the years with what I recognized as very poor performance in delivering kind, compassionate and highly-satisfying care to their patients, I often heard the response, “I am here to save lives, not make friends.” It is interesting to me, as I have been reflecting on our performance in patient satisfaction even more intensely in my transition period, that I came across an article that explains why those points are moot. “Patient Satisfaction is Here to Stay,” an article in the November 2010 edition of Emergency Physicians Monthly, also articulates in its closing paragraphs the need to combine our satisfaction focus with other areas we have included on our balanced scorecard to determine how “good” we really are.
It is clear that we are on this Journey to Excellence for the patients who turn over their most precious gift to us, their lives. We cannot violate this trust. We must be here to both “save lives” AND “make friends.”