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HL20: Laurent Gueris—Creating a Patient Experience Environment

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 24, 2014

Gueris met every morning with his staff, and discussed their interaction—or lack thereof—with patients. He offered guidelines to how they could improve their interactions. Using a script, Gueris went over what the housekeeper should do and say: they should knock on the door, ask permission to come in, and introduce themselves as representatives from housekeeping. Gueris explained the importance of maintaining eye contact with the patients, flashing a smile, and talking to them.

Gueris sat down in a room and made believe he was a patient. He took on their persona, if necessary: He was angry. He was flirtatious. Some on his staff were taken aback, but Gueris explained that the practice sessions had to reflect reality.

"We did basic scripting," Gueris says. "We put on paper what they should say; every day each employee would practice that. As weeks went by, they were becoming more comfortable. I started to challenge them and ask questions and try to push buttons with facial expressions and body language, being extremely rude or flirty, asking for a phone number, just to embarrass them, put them on the spot."

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