Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More on mystery shoppers

Several months ago, I wrote a post on our use of mystery shoppers to evaluate and improve customer service. Today Liz Kowalczyk at the Boston Globe covers the story in more depth (and with better writing!) I also find it really interesting to see the different perspective on this technique across the city's hospitals.


Alexis said...

Nice article!

I find the response from BWH amusing, if only because I think it (and often hospitals in general) represents an island of "non-shopping" in the business world. If any of the employees have ever worked in other industries that involve customer service, they've been "shopped" or somehow evaluated by a mystery rater. To say they'd respond badly to a hospital system underestimates both their experience and work ethic, I think, especially if positive reinforcement for jobs well done is integral to the program.

Kudos to BIDMC for making this such an integral part of the process. Now there just needs to be a good way to "shop" the folks inside the appointment rooms.

Anonymous said...


Slightly unrelated but a thought nonetheless.

To help embody the culture of overall improvement (quality and process) what do you think the effect of posting some of the internal metrics BIDMC is already collecting in terms of quality/service in the various departments when people walk in?

It would be both an indication to patients and staff that BIDMC cares about these, and could use be a core tenant in dept/staff meetings to review and provide open feedback/suggestions which is part of a continuous improvement cycle.

Just armchair quarterbacking as usual... Thoughts?

- Dave W

Anonymous said...

Nice, nice story.

I wish the front desk understood the impact they have on patient care. They really make a difference in how I feel about medical care. The smile, the "Good Morning," the looking in the eye. When I'm at the hospital I'm not there for a cold - a smile is good.

Right now, the very best I run into are at the check-in desk for mammography. I like those guys.

Anonymous said...

By the way; this story was picked up by a reader comment on the blog HIStalk, and Mr. HIStalk approved of the program. (: Interesting how the blogosphere spreads information.

Anonymous said...

Wanted to pop you a comment: I've started my medicine internship and a patient told me today, "You sure have some snippy operators." He was very very irritated, especially since the cardiology folks did not call him back (and he was having an MI).

Obviously this is based solely on the patient's report and would need to be corroborated. At least, his impression of the snippy operators is not really arguable.