Strategies & Helpful Hints to Increase Patient Satisfaction Scores

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By Ricky N. Arbuckle, CRA, MBA, RT(R)(CV)

Jason Scott’s presentation at the 2018 Spring Conference provided concrete steps attendees could take to improve employee engagement and patient satisfaction. The objectives that were covered in this session include:

  1. Why are we here?
  2. Re-engineer
  3. Empathy
  4. AIDET
  5. HEART
  6. Know your numbers
  7. Remember

Why are we here?: It is the right thing to do. Taking care of patients is first and foremost. If high scores are achieved, most likely other areas will be high. Patients want to be treated with courtesy and respect.

Re-engineer: Keep the patient informed. If there is a delay, let them know how long the delay will be. This keeps them engaged and happy with the level of service they will receive. The silo method is non-functional and must be open to all employees, departments, and areas of your facility. It is all about the patient.

Empathy: Caring behavior is what the patient expects, and what the organization wants in their employees. Empathy needs to start at the leadership level; always smile.

AIDET: This acronym stands for Acknowledge the patient, Introduce yourself, Duration of the exam, Explanation (explain the exam or study that is going to be performed), Thank the patient for coming and allowing you to perform the exam. A script for how you interact with the patient and with other departments or team members aids in delivering your message. When thanking a patient, thank them for something specific, not just for coming. Respect your conversations with the patient and co-workers. Don’t intermix the conversations and discuss anything in front of the patient; wait to have a conversation with a co-worker when you’re out of the patient’s earshot.

HEART: This acronym stands for  Hear, Empathize, Apologize, Respond, Thank. Jason explained that he uses this acronym as a way to deal with complaints.

Know your numbers:  Know what your patient satisfaction scores are. Good comments for an employee should be given to the employee. A monetary reward can also be given to drive employees to provide excellent service. At Jason’s site, they put the names of all employees who have received recognition into a hat and draw a winner for a gift card. A weekly or monthly newsletter to all staff can also be used to drive positives at your facility.

Remember: Training Sessions for employee are a must. Mandatory training engages staff and encourages active learning. Also, the leader must convey their vision to the staff, or they will not know where the organization is headed.

The patient must come first; if they don’t, you will not have patients at your facility, which leads to no facility. Keep your patients happy and informed, and the patients will continue to come back to you for their imaging needs.

Ricky N. Arbuckle, CRA, MBA, RT(R)(CV) is a technologist at Diagnostic Imaging Services in New Orleans, LA. He can be reached at

One comment

  1. Jason’s presentation was on point. He provided great tools to improve patient experience. This was a great conference overall. There were so many relevant topics and so much information to bring back to our organization. Thank you to the Spring Design Team, AHRA, vendors, and attendees!

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