Doctors and nurses are trained again and again on customer service but there is room for improvement. Following well-known acronym step programs comes … P.H.O.N.Y.
Administrators have learned that it is not enough for patient care teams to use research-based practice or the genuine caring that brought them into health care in the first place. To provide truly satisfactory patient care, we must think outside medical textbooks and embrace becoming PHONY.
P: Phone Chargers. It’s 2017; phone chargers for all types of phones must be available. Be willing to let the patient use your own charger for the time it takes to bring their phone to 100%. If no outlets are available, you must prioritize your resources. Any prudent clinician knows that a 27 year old with abdominal pain not being able to post on social media comes before continuous cardiac monitoring of a patient with known A-Fib.
H: Home Away from Home. We want patients to think of their hospital bed as a comfortable place to rest their head. This is why upon registration; patients will choose their pillow firmness preference and sheet count. They will also let us know if they would like to be woken up for medications/tests throughout the night.
N: Navigate. Let the patient navigate their hospital journey. If the patient wants a new MRI of their back after suffering from back pain for 10+ years, you are to ask “how sedated would you like to be during that test?”. Also allow the patient to choose their exact bed.
Y: YOU! Never forget that you are the center of the patient satisfaction experience. Make sure to put on your best smile, mind your manners and smell good. Tell the patient how this interaction will help you improve your practice. Think about the little things; hand deliver a favorite baked good (if the patient chooses not to be NPO) and post-discharge mail them a thank you note.
Work hard to remember to BE PHONY each day you work and satisfactory scores are bound to improve!