Quality Control and Patient Satisfaction:
Improving Quality Management at Grady Memorial Hospital
Nicholas B. Fannings
Keller Graduate School of Management
Grady Memorial Hospital opened its doors in 1892 and is today is listed as the fifth largest public hospital in the United States possessing a 918 bed capacity (LeValley & Page, 2010). Grady is designated as the public hospital for the city of Atlanta and noted for housing the only Level I Trauma center within 100 miles of metro Atlanta (Grady Health System, 2012). Since its opening, Grady Memorial Hospital has grown into Grady Health System, which includes, Grady Memorial Hospital, Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, Crestview Health, and Rehabilitation Center, and nine neighborhood health centers (Lee, 2008). Grady Health System employees over 5,000 employees and in addition to offering emergency services it provides services for the treatment of asthma, burns, sickle cell, and strokes. Grady Health system operates in the hospital and health care industry and provides services under the category acute short-term care. While Grady possess a wealth of facilities and services, it has experienced issues that plague many hospitals, Grady deals with issues in the areas of efficiency, overcrowding, and struggling to maintain patient satisfaction, and quality scores (Shaw, 2011). The intent of the paper is to focus on the correlation between customer satisfaction and quality score. The first part of this paper introduces the problem of discussion; the next part introduces a literary review that offers differing views on how to improve quality and customer satisfaction in the healthcare field. The fourth section offers an in-depth analysis of the problem statement, followed by recommendations and personal reflections.
Introduction to the Problem
According to the HCAHPS (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012) (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) a national survey produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grady Memorial Hospital ranks the lowest in customer satisfaction compared to two other major metro Atlanta Hospitals( Piedmont Hospital and Northside Hospital). Among the questions listed on the survey one asked if nurses always communicated well, Grady scored 66% whereas Northside and Piedmont scored 77% and 79% respectively. Out of the ten areas of customer satisfaction addressed Grady consistently scored the lowest of the three hospitals. As customer service is one of the cornerstones of successful healthcare organizations (Cape, 2000), this paper aims to identify the root causes of these low than normal scores and the correlation between quality management and customer perception and satisfaction. Answering these questions will aim to prove that improved internal quality (efficiency, culture, etc...) has a direct impact on customer service and perception of the health care provider.
Views on Methodology
A Duke University hospital case study by Silow-Carroll (2008), sought to identify the connection between strategies and factors that contributed to high customer satisfaction. The research was conducted through the gathering of data through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. The survey captured the responses of patients about their overall experience while at the hospital, communication with staff, and the hospital environment among other things. The results of the survey measured the success of patient satisfaction initiatives. Duke University Hospital recognized that satisfaction is achieved through organizational and tactical strategies. Those strategies include Patient Satisfaction University for the staff of the hospital, which provides training on how to identify those ideas that contributed to patient satisfaction. One interesting aspect of...