Doctors' Challenge: Boost Patient Satisfaction, Maintain Clinical Excellence

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , August 30, 2012

"So we've gotten very focused on who gets to work here, and how we train them on customer service. We used to hire for skill and pray for attitude and cultural fit. Now we screen for skill, but hire for cultural fit and attitude. As a result, we get many wonderful letters from patients in almost all categories."

Advocate Good Samaritan uses "peer" interviewers, including physicians, to screen job applicants. At least 450 employees within the system are trained to conduct behavioral-based interviewing, he adds. In that way, the hospital targets potential employees who would be a good fit in their organization, those who will demonstrate a terrific attitude and focus about the job.

When peer reviewers have a "bad feeling about the employee, they would tell the manager to try again," Fox adds. "It gives an extra check on the person we are bringing in, and it creates some ownership for the employees they help hire. It also gives us strong behaviors and a good cultural fit," Fox says.

From his C-suite position, Fox spends nearly two hours a week getting to know new hires. "About eight years ago, if I spoke to 30 people (newly hired), there might have been 10 in the room who were physically present but not really engaged. It used to drive me crazy," Fox says. "That has changed. If someone doesn't have 'life behind their eyes,' we don't hire them anymore."

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