Healthcare is one of the most challenging things to deal with in life. We have to make it easier and put the patient at the center of everything we do.
– Valerie Monet, Sr. Director, Customer Experience Strategy and Insights, Banner Health
In the latest in our CX Pioneer series, I had the opportunity to interview Valerie this week and learn more about Banner’s values around patient experience and how the organization puts the patient at the center of everything they do.
Who is Banner Health?
Banner Health is based in Arizona with healthcare operations throughout California, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Nevada. The nonprofit healthcare system is an $8.5 billion organization and employs more than 50,000 workers. Their business spans 28 hospitals, 50 urgent care facilities, 23 imaging centers, as well as cancer centers and specialty clinics.
The Patient is at the Center of Everything We Do
The healthcare entity recently changed its mission and values to put the patient at the center of everything they do, and as a result, Medallia is at the forefront of helping the organization capture patient experience feedback, take action to eliminate complexities and make it easier for patients to receive the care they require.
Healthcare can be confusing and stressful, and our mission is to make it easier for our patients.
Patient Feedback Across Interactions- A Goldmine of Business-Changing Insights
Banner started working with Medallia over a year ago. What started as a digital initiative – capturing feedback from customers interacting on the website – has turned into a full customer experience program geared toward improving the patient experience journey across all touchpoints, from the website and call center to booking an appointment online or signing up for classes.
We started by capturing feedback from interactions on our website, but our patients were providing us with much more information in that channel about other touchpoints they had with Banner; which is when we realized we had an opportunity to streamline how we listen and take action on feedback across the patient journey.
Putting the Patient First, Across the Entire Organization
One of the things Banner prides itself on is improving how patients navigate a complex system across all channels of engagement during the most stressful times of their lives. The company’s mission is to make healthcare easier so life can be better, and this value statement is plastered throughout the walls of the organization’s facilities.
Now more than ever, consumers have options when it comes to healthcare, making differentiation the key to success, and patient experience is a major contributor to us differentiating from other healthcare providers.
At the center of everything Banner does is being customer-obsessed. This is how they plan to achieve their mission. The number of people using customer/patient feedback to transform experiences has expanded. What used to be just a few leaders in the organization, has now spread to all corners. The call center alone has 500 users accessing Medallia’s cloud-based platform to understand how their interactions are impacting the patient’s livelihood. They receive feedback on how easy the patient felt it was to work with them and how well they are doing in relation to other team members. But Valerie made it very clear that it’s not a competition, it’s about continuous improvement and keeping focused on our core mission.
No matter what corner of the organization you sit in, you must be obsessed with the patient to continuously earn trust of patients.
Celebrating Success, Changing Culture
Team leaders at Banner have deep insights into how their teams are tracking against other teams, and it’s not just about poor feedback. Teams celebrate great patient feedback as well on “Fantastic Feedback Fridays” and share learnings to help others grow.
The feedback has started cascading to other groups across the organization to drive a culture of true patient centricity.
Not Just Scores, Intelligent Context
One of the keys to Banner’s success is in not just looking at scores. Individuals and leaders have access to what they feel is the true driver of actionable improvements – full written feedback. It’s where patients can leave detailed comments – comments that are filled with emotion about their experiences and the “why” behind the scores – and it’s invaluable. Valerie feels that while NPS gives the company an important external benchmark on where they are against the competition, it’s the “why” behind the score that drives their action plan.
If you are constantly chasing a number, you are missing the why behind it. By using the patient comments (the why), and creating action plans around that information, the scores will automatically go up on their own.
In addition to its call center, Banner has an “always on” feedback mechanism on the website. It helps them understand if there is a broken link on the site or other mechanical issues in scheduling, etc. But the golden nuggets of information are coming from exit feedback and presented insights that weren’t anticipated, but are invaluable.
We learned a lot about what patient experiences making a payment online and trying to find a doctor and have taken action to change how we do things. We would not have understood what patients are experiencing on our website without this feedback loop.
Valerie feels strongly that it’s important not to over-survey customers/patients. It’s about striking a balance and creating less intrusive means of listening to patient feedback. Banner’s website feedback loop provides that opportunity for patients to send that feedback and they strive to route comments to business owners that can streamline processes and communication channels.
Why Healthcare? Why Now?
When I asked Valerie why healthcare and why now for customer experience, she explained that we are in a pivotal point in the industry. Many other industries are moving forward and transforming. Healthcare has traditionally been slower to adapt but is now leveraging more tech than ever (telehealth as an example).
If we can change the way we receive care through technology, the entire ecosystem can leverage tech. It will be critical to staying competitive.
Patients have more choices and healthcare providers leveraging customer experience technology are going to give patients more reasons to stay and be loyal. Healthcare doesn’t need to be so complex for those on the receiving end. Providers need to meet their expectations by knowing what they want and the main way to know this is to ask. Surveys have been around for a decade, but we need to make changes in how we gather feedback.
I’m all about aligning the data at my fingertips and empowering people to own the data to make change. Change doesn’t happen from the top OR bottom – it happens in all corners of the organization from top TO bottom. Everyone has to be aligned.