Covenant Health System

Improving Patient Satisfaction

The merger of two major Texas-based hospitals resulted in the creation of Covenant Health System (CHS), the fifth-largest health system in Texas at the time. The union of the two fiercely competitive hospitals with distinctly different cultures, combined with significant management changes, created an unsettled environment. Both organizations’ reputation for quality care and good patient satisfaction changed drastically after the merger, with CHS’ Press Ganey Satisfaction scores dropping below the 30th percentile in their peer group. In addition to low patient satisfaction scores, employee and physician satisfaction scores dropped sharply as well. 

SSA researched national best practices, and then helped CHS form a Customer Satisfaction Steering Committee comprised of various employees and hospital stakeholders. With guidance and assistance from SSA, this Steering Committee then developed a bold vision for success and four design teams to assist in the development of the improvement plan. The teams worked with SSA to create a program that addressed 
teambuilding, employee physician and patient respect, the patient’s awareness of a job-well-done, and CHS’ contribution to the community. In addition, SSA designed opportunities for celebration at every success point to acknowledge employees’ contributions toward overall improvement.

CHS’ customer satisfaction scores improved from the 30th percentile to an impressive 96th percentile just one year after the SSA-designed program’s rollout. Shortly thereafter, Press Ganey recognized the efforts and results of this program by awarding CHS with the prestigious Compass Award for Excellence in Patient Satisfaction, which recognizes the greatest improvement in patient satisfaction scores in the large hospital category in the nation.



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