Healthcare Service Excellence: Definition & Components

Instructor: Tara Schickel

Tara has taught staff nursing courses and has a master's degree in public health.

This lesson describes what service excellence is in the healthcare industry. We will focus on the principle concepts of service excellence as well as provide some practical tips on how healthcare administrators can create a culture of excellence.

Service Excellence in Healthcare

We often hear businesses and companies promote excellent service. What does excellent service mean? Does it mean delivering a finished product in a timely manner? Service excellence can mean many different things, depending on the industry or business. Today, we are going to examine what service excellence means in healthcare. Most importantly, we are going to look at some practical tips that you as healthcare administrators can use to promote a better culture within your organization.

What Is It?

Service excellence in the healthcare industry is defined as a way of going about daily work practices as we work together to understand the needs of patients and deliver care in the best manner possible. Primarily, it boils down to the way we treat patients, guests, and each other. The fundamental concepts of service excellence in healthcare include showing enthusiasm for the service we provide and displaying the attitude that we love our job and our patients for whom we provide care. Patients and guests can easily read body language and facial expressions and know our true feelings. In order to provide service that is truly excellent, it isn't enough just to be polite and nice. Our nonverbal communication paints the true picture of where our hearts lie. Nonverbal communication involves all of the unspoken signals we give, such as facial expressions, eye contact, open stance, hand movements, or doing other activities while we are supposed to be listening to someone else. If our entire heart, mind, and body aren't into doing our job well and serving our patients, they will know it!

Do we always want to go to work and do our jobs? Of course not! All of us have days that we would really rather stay home or be anywhere other than work. That's normal. We are human and can feel this way. However, on days like these, it is IMPERATIVE that we don't allow our patients and guests to see this. This may mean making an extra effort to pay attention to our nonverbal signals or ensuring we are actively listening to our patients. Active listening involves making eye contact, giving your undivided attention to the person with whom you are speaking, nodding when appropriate, asking clarifying questions, and not doing other tasks while you are listening.

A tip for healthcare administrators: Please keep in mind that not only are patients your customers, but your employees are also your customers. If your employees are happy and value their work, they will reflect this to the patients and guests. Please take the time to request feedback from your employees about how they feel about the organization and their daily workflow. When they give you this feedback, stop and listen! They need to know you value what they say.

Components to Service Excellence

We could talk for days about all the many components that go into providing a culture of excellence for our patients and guests. There are a few key components that serve as the foundation for an excellent healthcare organization:

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