Secret of Chung-Ang Hospital’s best patient care

Song Soo-youn  Published 2018.08.14  14:46  Updated 2018.08.14 14:46


- Optimal care manager Kim says ‘good service doesn’t come overnight’

The government recently released the results of the nation’s first “Patient Evaluation of Medical Service Experience” survey. Since then, Chung-Ang University Hospital officials have been busy responding to inquiries about how the hospital ranked first in five out of the six categories in the opinion poll.

Chung-Ang University Hospital topped all the areas, except for hospital environment, in the patient experience survey on 92 tertiary hospitals and general hospitals with 500 sickbeds or more.

Related: Big-5 hospitals fail in patient experience evaluation

Chung-Ang University Hospital, located in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, emerged as the unexpected winner in the recent survey on patients’ evaluation of medical service experience.

The hospital officials attributed such an excellent outcome to the hospital’s steady efforts to monitor and fix problems. They said the hospital had “no special secret” in achieving outstanding scores in the patient experience survey.

The hospital has been conducting its patient experience survey since 2007. In 2016, the hospital made its survey form similar to the government’s version for further improvement. Before patients were discharged, the hospital surveyed to find out any problem and address it. Even after patients went home, nurses in charge made phone calls directly to the patients to check how they were doing under a program “Happy Call Service.”

Chung-Ang hospital staffs suggest various ideas for patient-centered care. Under the “Suggestions to Impress Customers,” the hospital collects ideas and apply them to clinical care. Staffs who offer a good idea wins a hospital award every month.

The hospital has also been running “Customer Satisfaction (CS) Instructor System” since 2008 to nurture CS instructors, educate staffs in each department, and monitor the patient care. The hospital shoots video of physicians examining patients to facilitate seamless communication between physicians and patients and to offer feedback to physicians.

Chung-Ang University Hospital provides psychological counseling called “Mind Healing” for employees who have to deal with stresses from emotional labor. The hospital has a principle that employees who are happy can offer better services for patients. The counseling program “Mind Healing” has become an official hospital program in March.

Kim Don-gyu, head of the optimal care management division at Chung-Ang University Hospital, said the hospital did not have any particular preparation for the patient experience survey. As the survey was directly on patients who received medical services, there was almost nothing the hospital could do, he said.

“Even if a hospital receives special short-term training for once or twice, the quality of medical service does not change overnight. Our good results came from the teamwork of all the hospital staffs,” Kim said. “It’s not something you can do by focusing only on a particular area.”

He emphasized that the hospital has been making extra efforts to become patient-centered and to focus on communicating well with patients. “Every year in the first and the second half, we had an outpatient satisfaction survey and inpatient experience evaluation for 600-800 patients. Then, we forwarded the results to each department for improvement,” Kim said.

Kim added that the hospital did not concentrate on activities to be seen on the outside but focused on meeting the practical needs of patients.

“The latest patient experience survey seems to have reflected such effort,” he said.

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