Hospitals / Healthcare

Since 1994, we’ve worked with hospital administrators and non-medical support service vendors to develop and implement quality auditing, mystery shopper, and inspection procedures. These compliance processes help to ensure a cleaner, safer facility while improving services for patients, visitors, and staff. Our auditing models check for over 1,000 industry-specific quality assurance standards that can be tailored to fit any size facility.

Our secret patient shopper and random inspection routines are a valuable training tool for HCAHPS and Joint Commission Certification surveys. They add a layer of accountability, help to decrease the chances of RFI’s (requests for improvement), and keep staff incentivized to consistently perform at a high level.

 Mystery Shopping

 If you’re not measuring care giver and support staff performance, poor service may occur on a regular basis and you might never hear about it or be able to correct it! In today’s competitive environment, it’s more important than ever to know how you are treating your patients and visitors on a daily basis. In fact, the AMA’s Ethical & Judicial Affairs report has concluded that, “Physicians have an ethical responsibility to engage in activities that contribute to continual improvements in patient care. One method for promoting such quality improvement is through the use of secret shopper “patients” who have been appropriately trained to provide feedback about performance in the clinical setting.”

Shopper surveys are performed anonymously by our experienced industry professionals. Our shoppers use objective criteria, based upon client operating standards, to provide a detailed snapshot of the patient/visitor experience. We then post results in real time via our secure, web-based shopper dashboard, which our clients have access to 24/7. We can also schedule interviews with managers and staff to summarize operational issues and concerns, highlight strengths and weaknesses, and provide recommendations for improvement.

There are 5 primary mystery shopper methods we use to evaluate healthcare facility performance:

1) Secret Patient Shops: The shopper is admitted as a patient with an advocate/observer to gather data and create a timeline based report, with descriptions of each interaction and observation. Simulated patient shopper teams can be admitted to the hospital for up to 30 hours, giving leadership “true” evidenced-based data to determine next steps and interventions. Each shopper goes through extensive training in metrics, performance, and data gathering before the shop. They enter the system under aliases to ensure anonymity and have the ability to give feedback on direct interactions as well as direct observations. The benefits of the Secret Patient Shopper include:

2) Clinical Observation Shops: These shopper audits can be implemented in a variety of medical practices and are designed to rate patient service and the physical condition of a facility. The personal attention given to patients by your staff can provide valuable information for decision-making and planning purposes. In this scenario, the mystery “patient” visits the office/clinic under the pretense of being new to the area and expresses interest in either making an appointment or gathering general information.
These shopper visits include detailed assessments of the following:
 3) Telephone Mystery Shops: Telephone shop calls are placed to the facility from individual shoppers to simulate a “real” patient, customer, visitor, or even a prospective job applicant. Calls are digitally recorded and scored based upon a set of pre-determined standards.
For example, we can conduct phone shops of the following:
This method offers an assessment of the patient’s or family member’s first impression via our exclusive internet voice recording technology. Scenarios can be designed to measure operational performance against phone policy standards and can describe access to care as represented by appointment lag. Information gathering techniques used by front desk staff, phone etiquette, automated recordings, number of rings, hold time, returned message protocol, sensitivity to patient, policy and scripting compliance, product/procedure knowledge, and sales skills can all be measured. As an augmentation to the appointment setting call, we can also survey the behaviors of staff when a patient is calling to cancel an appointment.
Telephone Mystery Shopping helps determine the number of potential new patients/clients you may be losing. Our experienced healthcare mystery shoppers present a detailed scorecard with a detailed supporting narrative.

4) Web Site Shops: The client’s website is audited for its functionality, navigability, accuracy, and responsiveness to general inquiries.

5) Sales Proficiency Shops: These are random or targeted visits conducted by our professional shoppers to help determine how effectively your sales team responds to inquiries for new patients or residents. Generally, these are performed for senior living communities, assisted living facilities, private treatment centers, and nursing homes. We present as a family member of a loved one in need of care or a place to live. We evaluate the chronology of the sales cycle to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, for example:

The phone shop is typically followed up by an on site shop to critique the sales person’s skill at conducting a tour. The shopper also rates the cleanliness and overall appearance of the facility and then provides a detailed report with scorecard, audio/video documentation, and detailed narrative.

Access to Critical Information

Our shopper program can help you answer the following questions:

  • Are operators/clinical receptionists handling phone inquiries promptly and efficiently?
  • Are clinics and waiting rooms clean and well-maintained?
  • How long is the wait in the ER?
  • How can we better recognize and reward our outstanding employees?
  • How knowledgeable and friendly are our Guest Services representatives?
  • Are our way finding procedures efficient and customer friendly?
  • Are there any areas in which we need more training?
  • Is the food in our facility hurting or helping efforts to provide an outstanding patient/visitor experience?
  • Is our sales team effectively promoting the community to maintain high occupancy rates?

Our mystery shopping program for healthcare facilities is designed to be a positive reinforcement tool for continuous improvement, giving clients critical insight into operational strengths and deficiencies. All questions on our shopper surveys are tailored to reflect your organization’s standards of performance, so that the final scorecard is accurate. Our software allows complete customization with ability to aggregate scores and graphs for multiple locations.

Check out our Power Point for more detailed Healthcare Solutions info:

 

For more detailed information regarding our healthcare auditing services, please visit Verify HealthCare, a newly formed division of Verify International focusing solely on the healthcare industry. 

Verify International is an active member of Mystery Shopper Provider’s Association (MSPA) and maintains a large database of mystery shoppers, with over 100,000 certified shoppers throughout the United States and countries abroad. We are able to staff and train specific shoppers from various demographics, ethnic backgrounds, age groups, or shoppers with special needs.

Facility & Environmental Services Inspections

Our housekeeping audits and inspections rate cleanliness and sanitation levels, maintenance, and overall staff performance. We help you pinpoint areas that need improvement. For hospital administrators, vendor performance can be monitored to ensure compliance to contractual obligations.

We provide objective, accurate appraisals from multiple perspectives, including patients, visitors, and staff. Plus, our new ATP rapid hygiene testing procedure detects residue and bacteria that’s invisible to the naked eye. This testing can help to reduce HAIs (hospital acquired infections), which can limit risk and save the hospital money.

 

Food Service & Safety Inspections

Your facility’s food service quality is an important competitive ingredient, and there’s no room for doubt when patients’ safety is on the line.

Verify International’s quality assurance assessments for food and nutrition services are divided into six categories with over 450 specific points of inspection. Learn more about our food service and food safety inspections.

Additional Services

Support Services Shopper Audit

Are non-medical support services consistently performing at a high level to enhance the facility’s reputation for quality and create a positive impression for patients, visitors, and staff? We shop all ancillary services, including valet parking, guest services, way finding, food service, room service, concierge, retail outlets, etc.

Human Resources Shopper Audit

Is your HR staff handling incoming calls and job applications in a timely fashion? Are they treating applicants as potential customers or future valued employees? Are you satisfied with efforts to recruit excellent employees? If not, then perhaps you should consider auditing your hiring process. Verify International can assess HR performance and help you determine if changes are needed.

Security / Safety Dept. Surveys

How is your Security Department staff performing? Are they proactive and quick to respond to emergency situations?  We will rate security performance by surveying hospital staff who work directly with security personnel. Our tried and tested survey procedures will identify potential problem areas and initiate dialogue for improvement.