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New White Paper from The Beryl Institute: 'Mystery Shopping the Patient Experience'
Date:6/24/2008

Mystery shoppers allow providers to compare real experiences to consumer

expectations.

DALLAS, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Mystery shopping goes beyond patient satisfaction surveys to discover why patients leave -- sometimes without ever meeting a healthcare provider. According to a new white paper from The Beryl Institute, "Mystery Shopping the Patient Experience," many consumers never become patients because they dismiss a healthcare organization after just one unsatisfactory encounter. The free white paper is available for download at http://www.theberylinstitute.net.

"Hospitals are given many opportunities to 'own' the healthcare consumer by providing exceptional service - both clinical and interpersonal," said Paul Spiegelman, executive director for The Beryl Institute. "Mystery shopping is another way of ensuring that consumers have the most positive experience possible, which strengthens their relationship to a healthcare provider."

Hospitals have many points at which they can come into contact with consumers with the opportunity to live up to the organization's mission statement and brand promises. The Beryl Institute white paper explores the value of mystery shopping, how the "shopping" is done, and how healthcare organizations can turn the results into actionable improvement opportunities. Mystery shoppers are educated, experienced consumers who anonymously evaluate the customer experience with healthcare organizations and individual providers.

"Healthcare leaders must embrace a philosophy of constant monitoring and improvement of the overall patient experience," said white paper author Kristin Baird, senior faculty for The Beryl Institute. "Today's healthcare consumers are more engaged than ever before and are exercising their ability to choose one provider over another. Customer service is an extremely influential factor in where consumers receive care."

The mystery shopping experience allows healthcare organizations to:

-- Thoroughly understand consumers' expectations.

-- Bring to light customer viewpoints. -- Uncover discrepancies between the service promise and the service delivered.
-- Apply lessons learned from other industries.

-- Discover training opportunities.

A recent report from the American Medical Association supporting the use of mystery shoppers in healthcare, states: "Physicians have an ethical responsibility to engage in activities that contribute to continual improvements in patient care. One method for promoting such quality improvement is through the use of secret shopper 'patients' who have been appropriately trained to provide feedback about physician performance in the clinical setting."

The Beryl Institute will conduct free webinars on this topic in August. Anyone interested in receiving information about the date and time of these webinars can register for The Beryl Institute online at http://www.theberylinstitute.net. All registered members will be notified of upcoming webinars and events.

Founded in 2006, The Beryl Institute is the research and educational arm of The Beryl Companies, the leading provider of outsourced call center services in healthcare. The mission of The Beryl Institute is to improve customer service in healthcare.


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SOURCE The Beryl Institute
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