November 2011
Improving the pat experience

In This Issue
A.I.M.* For Excellence
In Best Practices...
Q & A: MGMA 2011
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Hello again, and welcome to the Fall edition of our BENCHMARK newsletter. This quarter, we're sharing ways in which medical groups can A.I.M.* for Service Excellence; how Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute implemented a successful action plan to increase their referral base and build market share; and answers to common questions asked while exhibiting at the National MGMA conference last month.


Please feel free to forward this letter to your friends and colleagues.

A.I.M.* For Excellence 


Focus Group

Look at the title and you've probably slapped your forehead and said, "Duh!" Of course, any medical group worth its salt aims for excellence.  But aiming and achieving are not always synonymous.  The secret to delivering excellence whether it's clinical excellence or service excellence is structure.


No need to make the case for the structure of clinical guidelines or protocols here since multiple studies have proven that when variation is eliminated from processes, quality improves.  However, many leaders are uncertain how to improve service quality in their medical groups or hospitals. It's easier than you'd expect.


The secret is structure.



In Best Practices...  Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute uses referrer data to build market share


Increasing referrals may not be easy, but it is simple: all that's needed are a reliable measurement of service strengths and limitations... physicians who recognize the importance of referrer satisfaction...and an action plan that involves every member of the practice in a concerted effort to make improvements.


Ask Stephanie Rauschenbach, PR & Marketing Director at Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute, growing dramatically in the highly competitive Columbus (OH) marketplace.  "I had joined the practice in 2009, and needed a base line for developing a practice-building plan aimed at our referral base.  Read more...  



Q&A: Asked and answered at the MGMA annual conference...   


Traffic was lively at our exhibit during the MGMA annual conference at Las Vegas; interestingly, many of the conversations were about similar issues and challenges confronting practice managers in the emerging medical marketplace.  Here are a few examples:


Q. Now that the new ACO regulations have made participation more attractive, do we have to switch our survey to the CG-CAHPS form?


A.  While the CG-CAHPS form won't be mandated by CMS until 2014, if you're plans include the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), you'll need to use the approved form as part of the certification process.  Along with other CG-CAHPS vendors, we're seeing a growing interest in switching to the new survey ad joining the early adopters in building the CG-CAHPS database.  We should add that, as you switch survey forms, you'll "lose" the current-previous trend data for one survey cycle but, like all other adopters, you'll be joining a fast-growing population of groups taking advantage of a national database with data from all regions and specialties.   Read more...  


SullivanLuallin specializes in patient satisfaction services, and is the premier healthcare customer service consulting firm in the nation. For over 25 years, we've helped physician practices implement Customer Service Initiatives that produce immediate improvement and ongoing results. Clients come to us for on-site and web-based Customer Service training, Shadow Coaching for low-scoring physicians, Mystery Patient/Mystery Caller assessments,and Patient Satisfaction surveys.
Dr. Alt