14. November 2012 09:02
As a young rep starting off in technology and healthcare, I was thrown into a whole new world that I never expected. Immediately, I was given an overwhelming amount of knowledge, talking to some of the best individuals in healthcare. Eight months later and I love every minute of it. I get to develop relationships with the people that make a difference everyday…. Nurses!!!
Tradeshows are nothing new. Almost every b2b company attends a conference of some sort. For me however, the ANCC National Magnet Conference that took place in Los Angeles, California this past month was my very first tradeshow.
The 2012 ANCC National Magnet Conference is where clinicians go to celebrate nursing, let their hair down, and have a good time!! This is the nursing conference to top all nursing conferences. Hospital organizations send their nurses to ANCC to celebrate being designated (or re-designated) as a Magnet Hospital, the highest clinical honor to be had.
What made ANCC so special was that it was a conference dedicated solely to nurses. As a vendor, we were there to show our Voalte solution but we were also there to celebrate clinical excellence. This conference was all about showing nurses a different way to manage the craziness of their daily work lives through our solution, putting a smile on their faces, and making relationships with those that matter most.
The amount of sweat and stress that goes into making this conference happen becomes worth it when you get the chance to speak face-to-face with the nurses. These nurses come from all different backgrounds and environments; each one having a different perspective, but all having the same caring heart that makes them so special. Seeing the a-ha moment after demoing our solution was just icing on the cake.
The take away… The solutions you sell are one thing, but the people you meet and the relationships you make are what really count. ANCC opened my eyes as to why we work hard at doing what we do. It’s a shout out to nurses because they are the ones that matter most!
2. August 2012 10:13
What can we do to reduce noise? There are many attempts to reduce noise in hospitals. Reducing noise should improve the patient experience and improve HCAHP scores. Just as important and a bi-product of noise is patient anxiety! Patients unexpectedly find themselves in a new setting, away from home, facing the unknown in the form of a health condition, unfamiliar with their surroundings or the routine. Activity going on all around them that they do not understand:
What are all these alarms for? Did someone die? Are they for me?
Why does the nurse keep leaving my room to talk on the phone? Is it my doctor? Why don't they want me to hear?
They are always getting calls when they are treating me and leaving the room.
Are they understaffed? If I need assistance, will it be available?
That's a new alarm sound! What does it mean? I don't see any nurses anywhere? What is going on?
Why is this machine attached to me beeping? What does it mean? Am I taking a turn for the worst? Should I call my nurse? Where are they?
I wish my doctor would call. I asked the nurse to notify him I'm having a new pain. The nurse says they can't do anything without the doctor's approval. When will they contact him? Why hasn't he got back to them? Can't they call him again?
Why didn't the nurse answer her phone when she was in my room? Maybe it was my doctor?
Too often caregivers and the communication tools they are given only add to the anxiety.
Alarms all sounding the same and difficult to differentiate their urgency are heard throughout every hospital unit. Nurses go home exhausted from alarm fatigue. Patients lay in bed awakened at all hours of the day and night with anxiety at what the cacophony of alarms and other noises mean.
Nurses are provided phones as the main tool to communicate with other caregivers, departments, and doctors. Unfortunately HIPAA requires they do not talk of clinical matters in front of a patient. The phone causes numerous interruptions for nurses treating patients requiring they leave the room. If they do not answer the phone alternate strategies of overhead paging, and attempts to find them take over.
Today's technology offers many other solutions:
Alarm management tools can make sense of the numerous disjointed devices producing the cacophony of alarm noise.
Sophisticated nurse text messaging (similar to what is available on smartphones) can eliminate 78% of ringing telephone calls, almost all overhead paging and the potential for missed patient requests.
When looking to reduce noise, consider improving patient anxiety as well. It will more than give you justification and urgency to proceed and result in a better environment for all.
30. July 2012 13:54
So, we all hate going to the doctor’s office for one reason or another, whether it’s because it’s not fun being sick, you hate needles, or it’s just a pain to take time out of your busy schedule. One of my biggest pet peeves is walking into my doctor’s office, checking in with the receptionist, filling out any necessary paperwork (which is normally about fifteen pages) and then you sit. You sit and wait for what seems like a lifetime, not knowing if you will be next or if the eight people sitting there along with you will be called back before you. No one gives you any idea of a time frame on how long you will be there. Everyone has his or her face buried in a magazine and not much conversation is had.
Well, all of that is about to change. Close your eyes and picture this. You enter through large wooden doors into a beautiful lobby area. Directly in front of you is a peaceful and serene waterfall. To your right is a big screen TV that takes up the entire wall. Right next to this is a cheerful chef making delicious chocolate chip cookies or a healthy chicken salad. A smiling face then greets you and introduces himself or herself as a member of the Life Guide team.
A Life Guide meets patients immediately upon entering the clinic and redirects them to a decentralized check-in area. This private, more intimate area allows patients to feel like their visit is one-on-one. The Life Guide helps with any paperwork and gives a brief tour of the clinic, and when the caregiver is ready, the Life Guide escorts the patient to a procedure room. No longer are patients sitting in a lobby, waiting and wondering how long it will be until they are seen by a caregiver. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Now open your eyes because this is the reality at one group of forward-thinking clinics. I recently went to a newly opened Mosaic Clinic in Kansas City, Missouri for a site visit, and as I was introducing new Voalte users to the solution, I kept asking myself, “What is this Life Guide position all about?” I learned that Life Guides are there to make patients feel as though they are not just numbers. Life Guides are welcoming, caring, and compassionate, and they help guide patients through the sometimes confusing and frustrating process of obtaining healthcare services. Most traditional clinics can make us feel like we’re trapped in the “hurry up and wait” game. We are checked in and paperwork is pushed through and we are left to wonder whether we will be there for ten minutes, one hour or half a day. In Kansas City, the status quo is no longer good enough. At Mosaic clinics, you, the patient, are the main priority from the moment you walk through those doors, and we all know there is no better feeling in the world than when someone makes you feel special. Inarguably, Life Guides are playing a critical role in solidly establishing Mosaic as a leader in this movement towards more comprehensive, personalized service. Nationwide clinics take note. We’re your patients, your customers, and THIS is what we want!
23. July 2012 14:08
I’ve often been asked if a proprietary SIP PBX or an open source PBX should be utilized in my environment. Well, the answer to this question can be rather complex, depending upon your needs. There are reasons one may be beneficial over the other, as I have explained below.
An open source SIP PBX will normally interoperate with any PBX, proprietary or open, as long as it supports the SIP RFC 3261, the IETF SIP standard. The great thing about an open PBX is you can customize the software to suit your needs. There is also plenty of online help to get you going and even to help you once you have started. The only negative thing about the open PBX is it may be more difficult to get paid support.
A proprietary SIP PBX may not interoperate with another proprietary SIP PBX. Many times companies add proprietary SIP extensions to their code, which prohibits some interoperability with other proprietary SIP PBX’s. Proprietary PBX’s may not completely follow the IETF standard either, which also adds to interoperability issues, especially with other proprietary PBX’s. A proprietary PBX will often limit you to purchase other peripheral hardware just from that one vendor. The nice thing about proprietary PBX’s though, is they normally have a paid support staff to aid you when you need assistance.
In conclusion, the open source SIP PBX will be much less in expense compared to the proprietary PBX. There are no licensing fees and you do not have to sign contracts for support. As long as you have a knowledgeable staff and want to save on costs, the open source SIP PBX is certainly the way to go. A proprietary PBX is just that, proprietary, and often keeps your selection down to just the one vendor.
13. June 2011 13:22
I love teaching and presenting to groups because I always learn something valuable.
I recently presented at the Florida Sterling Conference for Performance Excellence in Orlando, FL and I was able to share best practices and network with top executives from world-class companies. The annual conference focuses on business excellence and process improvement using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award framework. The week of concurrent workshops culminates with companies being honored by the Governor of Florida for attaining world-class status by aligning themselves with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award business model.
The presentation I delivered was entitled “Redefining the Customer Experience”. I have presented at this conference many times before while working as Director of Organizational Effectiveness for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. This year I had the honor of presenting on behalf of my new organization, Voalté. I was pleased to find that although I was representing a different company, many individuals who had attended my workshops in the past were able to find me and participate in the session.
As part of the workshop, we were discussing what makes service great. This quote always puts this into perspective for me. “Great service is only great if your customer thinks it is.” Many individuals in the workshop shared examples of how their organization brought this thought to life. I was particularly impressed with one individual’s comment. She described a scenario and went on to say that because she works for a governmental agency, she has many restrictions on what she can and cannot do for her customers legally. The part that really struck me was that her organization took a situation that was consistently perceived as a negative experience by the customer and turned it into customer delight. The example that she shared with me was about how they made the waiting room experience more comfortable. They provided shawls for women just in case they got cold and had extra pairs of glasses for those who weren’t able to read their paperwork.
Others went on to share similar incredible stories. I even learned that there is a city in Florida that has a car dealership with a nail salon and neck massage services inside. All of these ideas really reinforced what Voalté already knows - “Legendary service does not have to cost a lot of money!”
What are some things your organization has done to improve customer service and enhance customer experience?