The Human Experience

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Eric-LoMonaco-smBy Eric B. Lo Monaco, BS, CRA

Hospitals are not perfect!

As a healthcare provider I am embarrassed to make such a bold statement, but it is true. Unfortunately, when it comes to the patient experience (or what I like to call the human experience) in healthcare we remain imperfect and continue to struggle. This struggle has been highlighted by The Affordable Care Act of 2010’s mandate that CMS implement the Hospital Value–Based Purchasing Program (VBP), which incorporates several quality domains. One of these quality domains is the Patient Perspective of Care, also known as HCAHPS, which accounts for 30% of a hospital’s total VBP plan. This “incentive” reimbursement is based on the patient’s experience and may account for millions of dollars in lost revenue for many hospitals over the next five years. We cannot afford to lose any reimbursement for services already completed.

Now here is the challenge at hand: how do we, as representatives of our healthcare organizations, encourage, inspire, and empower the patient to share with equal vigor both pleasant and unpleasant experiences within the organization as they are occurring? More importantly how can we respond at a moment’s notice, in real time, and professionally, while demonstrating genuine appreciation and desire to make what ever is wrong, right? The goal is to actually resolve the patient’s concern while they are still in the building. As a direct result of this vision, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula created a patient centric, portable, easily accessible, and straight forward closed-loop patient satisfaction program called Excellence 24/7 (E 24-7). We have demonstrated measurable and unmeasurable success with our patients.

E 24-7 links a QR bar code located throughout the hospital to manage real-time, patient-initiated electronic communication. By using a free scanning app and a smart device this bar code triggers one question upon scanning: “If we have exceeded your expectations or fallen short please let us know how we can help?” Once the question is answered, the patient’s message is instantly routed to a hospital management team member for immediate attention. In most cases the patient and management team member meet face-to-face within minutes, sometimes seconds, after a concern or compliment was communicated.

I invite you to experience the tool first hand by scanning the QR code below:


Please join me for my session “Achieving Excellence 24/7 – As Measured by the Human Experience” at 4:00 PM on Monday, August 1 at the 2016 AHRA Annual Meeting to learn why exceeding patient expectations is not only important,  it is essential. Responding in the moment makes a difference and it positively impacts productivity, public relations, and loyal patients.

Eric B. Lo Monaco, BS, CRA is the director diagnostic and interventional radiology at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, CA. He can be reached at

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