“Understanding patient expectations, and meeting those is fundamental to everything we do.”
CustomerGauge was delighted to host a webinar with Nancy Becker, Divisional VP of Urgent Team in January. We took away a lot of great best practices, which we’d love to share.
During the webinar, Nancy outlined her role in improving Patient Experience (PX) and Urgent Team’s “bottom line”. As a healthcare executive for 25 years, Nancy is responsible for operations, client retention, and patient experience at Urgent Team—a company who runs urgent care facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Urgent Team is one of the largest independent operators of urgent and family care, providing quality and affordable healthcare at 30 locations throughout the Southeast. They’re based in both suburban and rural markets, and provide care to patients in a convenient, affordable, compassionate way.
If you are not familiar with this sector, you may not know that “Urgent Care Centers” allow walk-in visits. No appointments needed, and with extended hours, 7 days a week. As Nancy says, this is the “Retailization of Healthcare—people are looking for efficiency, and at the times that are convenient to them”. The key to this is excellent Patient Experience (PX). As Nancy states: “You need to understand the expectations of patients. And how you do this is through patient engagement, and a survey tool like CustomerGauge is key to this”.
During the webinar, we asked her if PX affects patient outcomes, and Nancy answered: “Better experiences help patients gain trust, which means they are more loyal, and come back. Emotions are important to getting better outcomes.”
Nancy explained the benefits Urgent Team found when they switched to Net Promoter. Previously, they had longer surveys but NPS gives them the information they need to know, and more importantly act on. Right now, their response rate is 18% and growing.
“We read every comment and contact all detractors (and many promoters) by phone—we want to talk to each one by phone,” Nancy states. “It’s time well spent —part of the tools that you need to give each manager.”
But, why Net Promoter?, we asked. “I’ve used many things over the years but NPS truly gives you specific information. There is a fine line between a promoter and a passive.” Nancy went on to give an example of a recent corporate acquisition—they converted it to a NPS scale, and saw improvement quickly. “It really moved the bar.”
The mechanism in Urgent Team is to send emails, which has proved the most effective. They are not using SMS, yet but it’s in the pipeline. We asked about kiosks or iPads to take surveys and Nancy laughed, “No, we’re not using ‘Tablet Swingers’ at the moment, and no immediate plans!”
Urgent Team has worked with CustomerGauge for about a year, and one of the key enablers of the new system is to survey in real-time. Previously they used a monthly cadence – now it’s continuous. “We look at the scores every day now—it helps further embed it into each center. We can deal with survey issues ‘urgently’! And it’s given us opportunities to make adjustments on the fly,” says Nancy. “Overall, it’s helped us to improve. We are getting higher retention and repeat business, and improving the work environment. Team member experience goes hand in hand with patient experience. It’s a good operational discipline.”
For us, one of the key take-aways was Nancy’s comments on Return on Investment, and improving retention: “ROI is always difficult to measure. But, one thing we did is to look over a year at our growth trends at all of our centers on an individual basis, and compared that with 40 parameters – everything from NPS to population growth in the area… the metric that had the highest correlation to growth (whether positive or negative) was the NPS score… we found it very validating that Net Promoter can be a leading indicator of growth.”
Nancy finished up with her “4-Re’s Growth Model for Urgent Team’s Patient Experience.”
- Retention “leaky bucket”
We’d like to thank Nancy for her time and words of wisdom. View the entire webinar below on demand, or listen to the podcast version on Soundcloud.