Service Spotlight: Exercising empathy

September 20, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

At Michigan Medicine, faculty and staff always strive to provide the best experience for patients and families — but as in any complex health care organization, there are times when reality does not meet expectations.

Often, the situation is not about the care individuals receive, but factors such as canceled appointments, scheduling errors, long wait times, or rude and disrespectful interactions with staff.

While the ultimate goal is to provide an ideal patient and family experience every time, if a patient indicates that they have had a less-than-ideal experience, here are some quick service recovery tips to help you manage the situation:

  • Listen patiently: Pay attention to nonverbal body language and acknowledge the person’s feelings and situation. Use positive phrases, including “I would like to hear your concern and help.”
  • Express a sincere and genuine apology: Simply saying, “I’m sorry that you’re having a bad experience, I would like to help,” can help positively recover the experience if expectations were not met.
  • Involve the person in the resolution process: Ask them, “What can I do to fix, repair and/or resolve this issue for you?”

Because health care settings can be stressful for patients and their families, it helps when faculty and staff can respond quickly, show concern and empathy, and remain attentive, pleasant and helpful.

For more tips on how to handle patient concerns and complaints at Michigan Medicine, check out the video above from Patient Relations and Clinical Risk!

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