SullivanLuallinGroup BenchMark Newsletter
August 2013
In This Issue
Tips for service in the summer!
Q&A: Middle of the pack scores
User's Corner: CG-CAHPS and You
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Hello again,


Summer is here and so is another edition of our BenchMark newsletter! In this edition, we examine the challenge of waning service during this sunny season, review a common survey question and offer a copy of our SullivanLuallinGroup/CG-CAHPS survey. 


Please feel free to forward our newsletter on to your friends and colleagues. 


Three tips for keeping motivated during the dog days of summer!

As the summer wears on and heat frays nerves, it's time to redouble your efforts to ensure that patients and inside customers have a positive experience at your practice. 


While heat, humidity and lean staffing due to summer
vacations have never been an excuse for lowering clinical standards, the same is true for service performance.  The answer to maintaining high quality performance in both clinical and service dimensions is to remind people of your expectations, hold them accountable and recognize/reward them for doing an outstanding job.


Here are three suggestions that'll make the task easier:

  • Keep your staff eager to come to work (even when their colleagues may be away on vacation!) by having a weekly drawing for a valued item such as a coupon for a free "mani-pedi." It's sandal season, after all!
  • Have a reward tied to practice productivity.  For example, years ago, an orthopedic practice in Oregon provided a reward when each of their physicians had more than 25 patients scheduled on the same day, AND the outside temperature went above 95.  When all those elements aligned, the Administrator ponied up for Dairy Queen Blizzards for all staff members!
  • Reintroduce the concept of service protocols with the new Five Star Service is C.L.E.A.R. DVD, an "entertraining" 24-minute video that gives your staff practical, easy-to-use service protocols for ensuring a positive patient experience.

The key to maintaining service performance even when you and your staff would rather be on vacation is to keep morale high.  Let everyone know what's expected and be extra appreciative when they achieve your goals.


For more information on our Five Star Service is C.L.E.A.R. DVD, click here


Q: We survey our patients twice each year and seem to fall in the middle of the range of practices on the percentile rankings over and over again. We try to figure out what we should work on to improve our scores, but there are so many "opportunities" I don't know where to start. Any suggestions?


A.  The answer is easy and will soon be even easier.  First, while many practice executives look at access (appointment availability; waiting times; phone access) as areas to focus on, those are not "low hanging fruit" by any means.  The SullivanLuallinGroup correlation analyses have indicated that Care team it's your people scores that drive patient loyalty and willingness to recommend. In other words put your improvement efforts on the survey sections that deal with provider and staff performance. 


Now here's where it's going to get easier. In the very near future we'll be providing regression analyses of your survey results which will pinpoint the exact question to improve to achieve the highest ratings gains.  We'll be making the announcement soon.  Stay tuned!


User's Corner: 
CG-CAHPS (Clinician Group-Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Services) is coming and we've got you covered!  Of course, no one knows exactly when CMS will mandate the survey tool, but the SullivanLuallinGroup survey instrument now has several key CG-CAHPS questions to make your transition to the new form seamless.  We'd be happy to provide a copy of the combined SLG/CG-CAHPS survey instrument. Simply contact us here.


Have a question you'd like our team to answer or a story you'd like to share?

Contact us!


SullivanLuallinGroup specializes in patient satisfaction services, 

and is the premier healthcare customer service consulting firm in 

the nation.


For more than 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.