Archive for June, 2011

How to Plan a Successful Patient Satisfaction Fair

June 14, 2011

Wheeling Hospital held their first annual patient satisfaction fair to educate employees on current process improvement projects related to enhancing patient care. The fair was developed to encourage interdepartmental communication as it relates to patient-centered care. The medical center felt it was very important that each department knew the activities of other departments to enhance teamwork.

Heidi Porter, the Director of Quality Management, shared tips on how your medical center can plan its own patient satisfaction fair.

Educate employees on patient satisfaction.  Plan educational events to help employees improve the patient experience.  Wheeling Hospital had several educational opportunities for employees. The hospital emphasized the focus on patient satisfaction is not just for “bottom line” reasons. Yes, based on changes in healthcare, reimbursement does tie into patient satisfaction scores (e.g., HCAHPS). However, it is important to emphasize to employees this focus on patient satisfaction is related to delivering outstanding care and improving patient safety.

Form a Patient Satisfaction Committee. Wheeling Hospital formed a patient satisfaction committee that meets monthly to focus on improving the patient experience.  One of their projects is the fair.

Be sure every department has a display / booth. Each one of Wheeling Hospital’s thirty departments were asked to create a display and discuss their patient satisfaction initiatives. For example, the radiology department discussed using contrast material that tasted better to patients since this was often an issue. The lab discussed scripts to use to be sure patients understand their lab reports.

Involve everyone in each department.  The people staffing the booths were not always directors.  Many front line staff were present, especially since they are the people who have the most direct patient contact.

Have materials at the booth. Nearly every booth had written information on their various projects. This is important so fair attendees have information to review.

Plan ahead.  Wheeling Hospital planned the event well in advance to create a successful event.  Time is needed to make sure all the necessary arrangements are in place.

A patient satisfaction fair is an excellent opportunity for each department to share their projects.  Make plans to have a fair at your medical center.  Heidi Porter has graciously agreed to answer questions about starting your own fair.  Heidi can be reached


Edward Leigh, MA, is the Founder and Director of the Center for Healthcare Communication.  The Center focuses on increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing the risk of medical errors. We offer high-impact training, consulting and one-on-one coaching. Contact us today! or 1-800-677-3256