Transparency drives change for improving patients’ experiences

Mendy Goonan has a passion for creating great human interactions

Mendy Goonan is passionate about creating great human interactions for Norton Healthcare patients. As patient experience director for Norton Medical Group, Mendy championed transparent reporting to increase patient satisfaction.

“We had been reporting all of our data by location, and we decided that we could not ask our physicians to move improvement if they did not know how they are doing specifically,” Mendy said. “If I’m one of 12 providers at a location, I’m looking at a negative ranking saying, ‘Well that’s someone else, not me.’ So I worked with data analyst Beth Blandford to develop a provider peer rank report. Quarterly, the providers see how they rank with their peers across our system in patient satisfaction data.”

Mendy also works closely with Norton Healthcare’s digital marketing team to ensure real-time transparency through social media. Alexis Messmer, project manager, Marketing & Communications, works behind the scenes responding to social media comments and requests that relate to patients’ experiences.

“Social media assists in service recovery and an improved patient experience by offering real-time resolution and patient satisfaction,” Alexis said. “This work would be impossible without the immense support from Mendy and other patient experience team members. Social media reviews, both positive and negative, offer transparency for consumers and an improved online perception of the organization’s responsiveness to their needs.”

Mendy first became interested in the patient experience when her mother was battling cancer.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and then that went into bone cancer, and we lost her pretty quickly after that,” Mendy said. “That was about a two-year journey, in and out of hospitals and medical practices. Just walking through that and being present in those encounters really showed me that there are health care workers who are in their job for the right reason and those who really didn’t fit that category.”

Mendy offers these tips for employees to create great human interactions: Be authentic, sincere, present in the moment and empathetic.

“It’s as simple as communicating positively with every person, because that will automatically create a positive connection,” she said. “And if we do that with every person, every time, that equals the Norton Experience. That’s our culture.”

Mendy also uses education, star ratings, leader rounding, on-the-spot recognition and patient experience champions to help increase patient satisfaction. But transparent reporting really completes the toolbox.

“Our journey to transparency was a large part of our success story,” she said. “It’s a big change in culture when you start sharing performance results transparently to increase personal ownership and awareness of the experience we create for our patients and guests.

“Our ultimate goal is to know that we’ve provided all of our patients with the same quality and empathetic care as we would a loved one.”

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