By Latasha Hill
June 2012—A couple of months ago the department store chain J.C. Penney announced that they were no longer having weekly sales, coupons, and in-store specials. At first this was a disappointment to me because I felt that as a loyal customer I deserved to be offered something for spending my money and time in this store. The next announcement from J.C. Penney was a new campaign that would provide customers with an everyday value program for pricing of their merchandise, in lieu of the frequent sales and coupons. As I thought about this everyday value campaign, I began to feel appreciated as a customer once more, because I knew that each time I walked into a J.C. Penney store I would receive a value. With the challenges faced in today’s healthcare industry, and more specifically within radiology, as imaging leaders we should adopt the same strategy that J.C. Penney has by showing everyday value to our patients, staff, radiologists, and referring physicians. When imaging leaders provide everyday value to a person, they gain their loyalty for all future endeavors.
Showing everyday value is an important factor in keeping your staff motivated. A great way to show that you value your staff is by providing real time feedback on both the positive and negative work ethics they exhibit. This can be done by simply saying “thanks for contributing your skills to the team today,” or by pulling them to the side when negative issues arise and explaining to them what they are doing wrong, but also asking them what you can do as a manager to help correct the wrong. This shows staff that you care about them and that you value the work they do because you are willing to help them improve in areas they may be weak in. Offering everyday value in radiology can guarantee that when you need staff members to go over and beyond their normal work duties, they are more than willing to help.
Showing everyday value is also important in building relationships with radiologists and referring physicians. This can be accomplished by respecting the importance of the roles they have in the radiology department. Engaging radiologists on new concepts can often be a challenge for most imaging managers, but getting their input shows them that you value and respect their opinions. The new concept is then welcomed as a positive change because you have shown them that they are a valuable part of your department.
Offering everyday value to our patients is a necessity. It is important to the patients to know that the imaging department values and respects their time. There can be times when patients may have to wait longer than expected for an exam, but they will feel truly appreciated if a manager or supervisor of radiology comes out and apologizes about the wait and reassures them that the department is trying their best to get the exams done in a timely manner. We also can show everyday value to our patients by properly educating them on the types of procedures they are having done. The everyday value that is shown to our patients will ensure that they continue to use the services offered by the radiology department as well as inform their family and friends about our services.
It gives me great pleasure to know that I do not have to wait for a coupon or holiday sale to buy towels or jewelry from J.C. Penney because they value the fact that I may need an item instantly instead of when it is on sale. This is instant gratification because of the value they have in me as a customer. What greater satisfaction is there as an imaging leader to say that your staff, radiologists, patients, and referring physicians provide you with instant gratification because of the value that you have shown them?
Latasha Hill is the clinical radiology supervisor at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, GA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.