Improving Customer Service and Access in a Surgical Practice
A Case Study of a Successful Quality Improvement Intervention
Download eBook for Free
|PDF file||0.6 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
This report describes the efforts of one surgical specialty medical practice to improve customer service and access for its patients. It specializes in liver disease and transplant surgery but, as a result of a merger with another specialty practice, it offers other types of surgery and care as well. Many of the patients who come to the specialty practice are quite ill and require extra patience and extra attention to ensure that their needs are met. Complaints from patients to their doctors indicated that the specialty practice had problems with customer service and "access;" that is, the ease with which patients can contact the practice, gain entry, and use the practice's services. The problems were confirmed by observations of patient-staff interactions, by performance data available from the medical center's systems, and by data from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey. The information presented in this report is based on interviews conducted with staff and management in the specialty practice and in various departments within the hospital and medical center. The first section offers brief background information and a short description of each of the steps in the six-step quality improvement process. The second section offers more detail about the organization and the six steps, and a big-picture look at lessons learned. An appendix lists training courses that were developed for staff and management.
The research described in this report was prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and performed under the auspices of RAND Health.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.