Anesthesia Customer Service: What Should it Look Like?


I recently read an article entitled “Great Customer Service Starts with a Clear Purpose.” I read it with great interest because it was an article written by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute. Most of us, through our children, have been exposed to either Disneyland or Disney World as a summer vacation destination. Personally, I have been impressed with Disney’s focus and attention to making the Disney experience great for the whole family, including the adults. Considering how many guests pass through their turnstiles every year, this is not an easy assignment.

The Disney leadership team believes “One of the very first – and most important – steps leaders can take in their efforts to create a culture that focuses on providing exceptional customer service is to help employees understand the organization’s overarching goals.” “When employees see clearly how their efforts contribute to the organization’s goals, they are better able not only to meet, but also to exceed, customers’ expectations.” The Disney organization also believes “The most common factors contributing to the discrepancy between the Customer Service Experience that organizations want to provide, and the one that they actually provide, is their failure to supply their employees with the resources and training necessary to meet Customer Services expectations.” This article struck a chord with me from the perspective that Anesthesia Management is a service business; its only purpose is to provide safe, quality anesthesia care and to provide its customers with great, cost-effective service. Who are the customers? They are: Patients and their families, Surgeons, Perioperative Staff members, and the hospital’s Executive Leadership team. Each one of these customers have common and unique needs that the anesthesia providers need to know and understand if they are to provide Great Customer Service.

One of the strengths that Premier Anesthesia possesses as a company is our Anesthesia Consulting Services. Our Consulting Team has conducted over a hundred consulting engagements over the past eight years. Why do we do consulting? It affords Premier the opportunity to stay in touch with the needs and expectations that hospitals and their anesthesia stakeholders want and need.

Providing Consulting Services makes us a better company; we gain operational insights while performing our consulting service, because we listen and learn from our clients what their needs and expectations are for anesthesia services. We also see how dysfunctional a service can become when a provider group is not in alignment with their hospital, and how it impacts the quality of the services provided.

So, it has been through consulting that Premier has learned its true purpose as an anesthesia management service.

Our Purpose Premier Anesthesia’s purpose is to provide its host hospitals with great customer service. We’re building a corporate and provider culture around two core principals; first, our Value Proposition to clients and second, the Premier Difference.

Our Value Proposition Premier subscribes to the principle of the IHI Triple Aim Initiative which focuses on care, health and cost. These principles are the fundamental building blocks of the overarching goals that we’ve built for our organization. We believe that it is our purpose as an organization to bring the following value to the hospitals we work with.

  1. Improve patient care and safety outcomes

  2. Improve stakeholder experience outcomes (patient, surgeon, OR staff, leadership)

  3. Reduce anesthesia cost

Everyone within an anesthesia practice should understand our Value Proposition and actively seek ways to achieve it. Practices should actively seek recommendations and suggestions from their providers to advance these goals; after all, the providers are where the rubber meets the road – their firsthand knowledge and insight in the process can have a significant impact on achieving the these goals while providing exceptional customer service.

The Premier Difference Premier Anesthesia’s approach to anesthesia management and consulting is based on the following core principles.

  • We have a hospital-centric service mentality. My perspective as a former hospital CEO has shaped how we do business. From my experience, we have a deep appreciation for the operational issues and challenges facing hospitals today.

  • We are a strategic partner. Each Premier team is aligned with the mission, goals and objectives of their hospital. We achieve this through active collaboration with hospital leadership to establish the management processes necessary to achieve institutional alignment.

  • We focus on delivering the right customer experience. All hospital stakeholders – administration, surgeons, perioperative staff members and patients – have unique service needs and expectations. Premier works to listen, understand and exceed those expectations.

  • We provide clinical, operational and financial transparency. We believe in building true partnerships based upon trust. To accomplish this, we are totally transparent when it comes to the reporting of all clinical, operational and financial aspects of our practice.

  • We are a catalyst for change. Each Premier Team works to drive positive, transformational change to their anesthesia service. We ensure that our teams possess the processes, systems, tools, technology and best practices to make their team successful.

  • We understand the importance of evidence-based management. Premier employs the use of quantitative and analytical management tools, processes, procedures and reporting dashboards to enhance the quality of care, improve provider productivity and reduce cost.

The primary role and responsibility of a company like Premier Anesthesia is to create a practice culture that embraces and achieves our Value Proposition and The Premier Anesthesia Difference. If Premier’s Customer Value Proposition and our Five Business Guiding Principles resonates with you, and you want to learn more about Premier Anesthesia, we would appreciate the opportunity to initiate a dialogue with you.

References

Jones, Bruce. (2017, February 28). Great Customer Service Starts with a Clear Purpose. Harvard Business Review. Available at https://hbr.org/sponsored/2017/02/great-customer-service-starts-with-a-clear-purpose. [Accessed 16 May 2017].

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. 2017. IHI Triple Aim Initiative. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.ihi.org/Engage/Initiatives/TripleAim/Pages/default.aspx. [Accessed 25 May 2017].

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