by Sue Redmond
Dr. R. Micheal Meneghini, MD, director of IU Health Saxony Hospital’s joint replacement program, credits the Ritz-Carlton for their extremely low readmission rates. He was immensely impressed with the customer service he received when snow storm threw a wrench in his plan to propose to his now wife at the Ritz. The staff at the Ritz-Carlton helped everything run smoothly, and he wondered how he could translate their excellent customer service to the medical industry.
The Friday morning meetings Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital started right away. The whole team including the surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses, OR team, internists, and even the chaplain and medical device company representatives attend. They discuss the upcoming week’s surgeries and all aspects of patient care, treating patients as if they are a Ritz-Carlton customer. As a result, patient satisfaction is extremely high. The team has their act together and the patients can feel the difference. The thirty day readmission rates for hip and knee replacements are 0.74%, which is more than seven times lower the national average. Their patients’ lengths of stay are on the low end as well.
Dr. Meneghni feels this can work at any hospital, but it’s extremely important for an established hospital to have a strong surgeon leader. Support from the executives is also very important. There can be cost saving benefits from this pre-surgery meeting approach. A good approach to bring the executive level in is to present the facts on reduced medical errors and shorter hospital stays both of which help the bottom line.
The healthcare system as a whole could learn from the positive impacts on healthcare costs patient outcomes and satisfaction like IU Health Saxony Hospital did with the great customer service experience Dr. Meneghini brought to work!
Punke, Heather. “Why One Hospital Thanks the Ritz-Carlton For Low Readmission Rates.” Infection Control & Clinical Quality. Becker’s Healthcare, 14 Jul 2014. Web. 30 Aug 2014.
Sullivan, Katie. “How Ritz-Carlton helped one hospital reduce readmissions to .74 percent”. FierceHealthcare, 15 Jul 2014. Web. 30 Aug 2014.