Standards of Performance Examples for Healthcare: Commitment to Coworkers - Customer Waiting

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021
This blog post continues our series of HealthStream Coaching's patient experience best practices. Every week we share information from our coaches that demonstrates their expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions they have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Standards of Performance can be used in numerous ways to help select applicants who are well suited to the healthcare organization’s culture. As we look at best practices for using healthcare standards of performance, we will share some specific examples. This week we examine standards for Commitment to Coworkers and Customer Waiting.

Commitment To Coworkers

Treat one another as professionals deserving courtesy, honesty and respect. Welcome newcomers.

Avoid last-minute requests and offer to help fellow employees whenever possible.

Cooperate with one another. Don’t undermine other people’s work; praise whenever possible.

Do not chastise or embarrass fellow employees in the presence of others.

Address problems by going to the appropriate supervisor.

The word commit is defined as “to pledge or engage oneself and to entrust”. So in terms of this definition, commitment to coworkers entails pledging our support, demonstrating our engagement in their welfare, and trusting that they will do likewise.

First, pledging support implies that we will be team players and treat coworkers as professionals. What do good team players do? Well, they demonstrate support by offering to help others when it is needed and when it is possible. They show respect for others’ time by promptness in arriving at work and meetings, by striving not to be unexpectedly absent, and by taking reasonable breaks. They cooperate with one another by communicating and offering constructive feedback. Lastly, team members treat problems as opportunities for solutions, using the power of the team to arrive at a solution and perform for the good of all.

Treating coworkers as professionals means that we will praise when it is due, and not say or do anything to intentionally offend fellow employees. We speak to and treat one another with respect, realizing that occasionally conflict will occur but professional courtesy is due at all times.

Customer Waiting

Educate families about processes and provide a comfortable atmosphere for waiting customers.

An acceptable waiting time for scheduled appointments is 10 minutes; it’s one hour for non-scheduled appointments.

Offer refreshments and an apology if a wait occurs. Always thank customers for waiting.

Update family members periodically - at least hourly - while a customer is undergoing a procedure.

Many studies have been done about how we perceive time when we wait, referred to as the psychology of waiting. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • Having nothing to do while you’re waiting makes a wait feel longer.
  • When we’re anxious or afraid, the wait seems longer than it is.
  • Uncertain waits feel longer than knowing when it will be over.
  • If the waiting is unfair, it will feel longer than if it is justified.
  • A wait with no explanation seems longer than one that has been explained.