4 Tips for Employee Loyalty at Spine Centers

Spine

Here are four tips from Irene Rademayer, vice president clinic services and Jason Jones, senior director of customer service at Laser Spine Institute, about optimizing employee loyalty at spine centers. 1. Top-down accountability. To activate staff loyalty, accountability for patient satisfaction must come from the top down. The administrators at Laser Spine Institute share patient satisfaction feedback and scores with the staff and recognize members who are singled out for going above and beyond to deliver excellent care. "We have boxes around the facility asking for patient feedback," says Mr. Jones. "When patients recognize employees that stand out, we have an award system to make sure the employees know who has been delivering top care."

Each month, Laser Spine Institute has custom-made Nike shoes ordered for the employees who are recognized by patients and peers. The employees are able to wear the shoes for a month at work. The shoes are often in wild colors, so patients ask about them and the employees can explain what they mean. "Employees rally around the shoes," says Mr. Jones. "It's a source of pride for whoever is wearing them."

2. Focus on quality and productivity.
The employees also have service champion awards that are linked to both productivity and quality of service. "Focusing on productivity and service provides an optimally working environment that is well organized and balanced," says Ms. Rademayer. "People who are overworked won't provide good care. We want our surgeons and staff members to have time to talk with patients and not just worry about their productivity numbers."

The leaders are again responsible for fostering this culture of quality and productivity. If a staff member is regularly providing a sub-par experience of care, it's the administrators' responsibility to bring about change. "We have a culture of expectation and exceptional patient service from the top down and sometimes we need to reinforce that," says Ms. Rademayer. "It stands out if someone doesn't provide our typical above and beyond service. Unfortunately, one person can bring the department down as a whole, and we never want that to happen."

3. Deal with straying employees. When an employee isn't performing in accordance with group policy and standards, administrators should take that employee aside and discuss the situation. "We share with employees what patients have said about their interactions," says Mr. Jones. "If their comments are unfavorable, these conversations can be difficult, but everyone understands what the common goal is. We all have one common goal, which is that the patient experience is the  number one priority."

When patients do complain about employees, the company provides coaching sessions for these employees focused on maintaining a positive attitude and providing excellent care for the patients.

4. Look at other industries. Medicine hasn't always been a customer-focused field, but the transition to providing patient-centric care is crucial in today's healthcare environment. If you're out of ideas about how to make your facility more patient-friendly, look at how other industries have been able to optimize hospitality. "We are always looking for different service and hospitality models to see where we can borrow or steal ideas," says Mr. Jones. "We also ask some professionals from those fields to look at what we are doing and see where our processes are hitting and where they miss."

Related Articles on Laser Spine Institute:

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Laser Spine Institute Names Bert Lindvall Executive Director of Oklahoma City Surgery Center


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