emergency department patient satisfaction: customer service training improves patient satisfaction and ratings of physician and nurse skill/practitioner response

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Emergency department patient satisfaction: Customer service training improves patient satisfaction and ratings of physician and nurse skill / Practitioner response falseMayer, Thom A; Cates, Robert J; Mastorovich, Mary Jane
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; Royalty, Deborah L; et al.Journal of Healthcare Management43.5 (Sep/Oct 1998): 427-40; discussion 441-2.

Abstract (summary)
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Customer service initiatives in healthcare have become a popular way of attempting to improve patient satisfaction. The effect of clinically focused customer service training on patient satisfaction in the setting of a 62,000-visit emergency department and
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1996); and a nursing acuity rating scale (EMERGE, Medicus Systems, Evanston, Illinois). Inova Fairfax Hospital is a 656-bed not-for-profit institution that is a teaching hospital, regional referral center, and level I trauma center.

Customer Service Training
All emergency department staff involved in patient contact (physicians, nurses, ED technicians, registration personnel, core secretaries, social workers, ED radiology, and ED respiratory therapy) were required to attend an eight-hour customer service training program. The numbers and types of staff involved in training are listed in Table 1. Because of logistic limitations, emergency medicine residents attended a focused fourhour required training course. The eight-hour program consisted of the following modules: basic customer service principles, recognition of patients and customers (Are they patients or customers?), service industry benchmarking leaders, stress recognition and management, communication skills, negotiation skills, empowerment, customer service proactivity, service transitions, service fail-safes, change management, and specific customer service core competencies. (More detailed information on the content of these modules is listed in Appendix 1.)

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