Patients, referral sources play key roles in recovery model
Patient satisfaction scores. Customer service. Lasting impressions. These are some of the buzzwords used to describe a person’s experience when receiving healthcare. For a mental health patient, “customer service” can be a very different experience. That’s why Linden Oaks has implemented the Recovery Model to ensure the patient comes first.
On a regular basis, the Linden Oaks' Customer Service Committee meets to review patient feedback and monthly satisfaction scores; recognize staff members and departments who are delivering excellent care; and address issues that may affect patient satisfaction. Consisting of staff members representing each department at Linden Oaks, the committee also finds ways to train staff to use the Recovery Model.
How we put our patients first
Unlike most traditional medical models, the Recovery Model emphasizes and supports each individual’s potential for recovery. Recovery is seen as a personal journey that may involve developing hope, a secure base and sense of self, supportive relationships, empowerment, social inclusion, coping skills and meaning.
“This model truly embraces the partnership between the patient and the helper. We all embraced this model as an overarching organizational approach. The key is helping patients find their voice in recovery,” explains Terry Ciszek, LCSW, CSADC, director of outpatient services.
Posters and other visuals placed throughout the hospital provide daily reminders to staff about the model’s dimensions.
“Recovery is ongoing, and Linden Oaks is only one part of this journey. We want to help the patient find additional therapy, community support, unique coping skills and other things that will help them long after they’ve finished treatment here,” explains Ciszek, chair of the 18-person Customer Service Committee.
Referral Source's role in patient satisfaction
Critical to this is Linden Oaks’ partnerships with referral sources, who are considered to be an important part of the patient’s treatment team. Patients are encouraged to continue treatment with community providers, and staff is committed to sharing information.
“At Linden Oaks, we realize that our time with the patient is very short. We value what the community provider has already done to help the patient. It’s in everyone’s best interest for us to maintain contact throughout the entire process,” Ciszek says.
Linden Oaks is one of the few behavioral health programs in the area to use this type of consumer approach. Since incorporating the Recovery Model, customer satisfaction scores have been going up.
“More importantly, we’re receiving overwhelmingly positive written testimonials from patients who feel they are being treated as a person first. Families, who were initially fearful of treatment, are leaving here with a sense of confidence about their ability to be supportive to their loved one,” explains Ciszek.