Reviewed by Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, RT(R)
Service Delivery vs.
Service Delivery vs. Service Excellence
By William R. Johnson, CRA,
Lulu Publishing Services (2014)
Do you feel like you’re being held hostage
to achieve the “happiness number” on
customer satisfaction scores? Have you
finally achieved “excellence,” only for it to
disappear the very next month when the
next round of patient surveys appears?
Are you frustrated that you’re being held
accountable for something that seems
uncontrollable and/or unreachable? Read
William “Bill” Johnson’s Service Delivery
vs. Service Excellence book to understand
how to overcome the challenges that we
face every day in making our patients
happy. Bill was the 2013 AHRA Design
Team Chair in Minneapolis, MN and
has been a great personal mentor. I was
able to watch his customer service presentation last year at the 2013 AHRA
Spring Conference in Los Angeles, CA.
His charismatic personality and smile is
absolutely contagious, and it definitely
shines through in this book!
Healthcare workers concentrate on
providing quality care, but patients con-
centrate on making a connection with
the staff while receiving quality care. Our
staff primarily use their “left brains” (re-
sponsible for analytical thinking, orga-
nizing thoughts, etc), but our patients are
using their “right brains” (responsible for
emotions, creativity, intuition, etc). This
creates quite the barrier in successfully
allowing patients to have a positive ex-
perience during hospital visits. Unfor-
tunately, patients make a first impression
upon arrival and if that first impression is
negative, it is very difficult to overcome.
Patients see everything through that filter
after developing it. Staff’s body language
is crucial in establishing a connection
with their patients. Do your employees
smile, make eye contact, and face the patient when talking? What is the culture
of your organization? This book explains
how to change the culture of your organization so that all employees exhibit the
caring attitudes that patients expect. You
will learn the subtleties that are making
your patients unhappy with service.
Most of us have learned how we are
supposed to interact with our patients
and have even developed scripts for
our staff. Did your staff learn what you
taught them? Do their non-verbal actions speak louder than their words? Bill
explains how meaningful conversation is
essential for patient satisfaction. Take the
time to observe your staff. Follow his step
by step methods in identifying whether
or not your staff members are as competent as you think they are.
Next, if patients express dissatisfaction
to your employees, how do they respond?
It is crucial that your staff members
know how to respond immediately after
a complaint to work towards a satisfactory resolution. Again, you will be given
step by step instructions on how to train
your employees to respond appropriately.
This will help develop advocacy which is
critically important since most patients
feel very vulnerable in the healthcare set-
ting. In order for us to understand all of
the vulnerabilities that patients feel and
appreciate all of the struggles they experi-
ence while at our facilities, we need to take
the time to pretend like we are the patient
from the beginning (parking our car in
the patient lot) to the end (discharge).
Determine each “touch point” that the
patient experiences, and determine where
too much waiting occurs. Enlist the help
of a scheduled patient to be your secret
shopper to get valuable input on all of
the real life experiences that patients have
(blood draw, lying on the CT table, etc).
Gather information and observe. This is
the only way you will figure out what is
actually occurring in your facility.
Bringing all of the information togeth-
er is really challenging, but after reading
this book, I feel that I am up for it now. It
is no longer a mystery to me why my CT
department can reach the 99th percentile
ranking one month but hit the 3rd percen-
tile ranking the next month. All of those
intangibles are what count for patients. I
need to take the time to reevaluate where
we are and where I want us to be, and
then show my staff how important this
is. I now know that I, just me, CAN make
a difference in my department’s success
towards achieving excellence.
Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, RT(R) is the director of
imaging at Monongalia General Hospital in
Morgantown, WV. She can be contacted at