Medical Mystery Shopping or – “Pride Audits”

The team from Lutheran Health Network, May 2016.

“You can never really know a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

To be able to see and experience things from another person’s point of view is a great gift. It can change our perspective, foster empathy, and create better understanding. In healthcare, as in most other industries as well, we tend to get caught up in the daily grind without always noticing what’s right in front of us.

So how can you really know what patients (or visitors, employees, vendors, and family members) are seeing, feeling, and experiencing at your hospitals or care facilities? Through Medical Mystery Shopping or what we call a PRIDE AUDIT.

A Pride Audit is really just a fancy term for walking in another’s shoes – or, seeing with another’s eyes. We use Pride Audits as a critical first step with organizations that are beginning their cultural transformation. Why? Because Pride Audits give an objective snapshot – a true picture – of what life is really like inside your organization on a day to day basis, from the patient and employee perspective.

Everything Speaks

Patients pay attention to the little details. And based on those details, they make judgments on the big things.

In fact, everything patients see, hear, smell, taste, and touch affects their experience – either positively or negatively. 
Whether you think they’re trivial or not, every detail in your setting says something about your brand. And it’s not just patients who notice. Visitors notice. And your employees notice, too.

Conducting a Pride Audit is a great way to flip the lens and see things with new eyes and it’s a great reminder that the layout and feel of your parking lot, buildings, waiting areas, exam rooms, and patient rooms can greatly impact your patients’ impressions of their care – long before any of your employees ever lay a hand on them.

One goal of Pride Audits is to identify (and eventually remove) Graffiti. We define Graffiti as anything that distracts, detracts or defaces the intended patient experience.

Mercy Medical Group
Char Allmond, Clinic Operations Supervisor

By mapping out every step of the Patient Experience, we strive to see things as patients see them. Then, we can work to identify and either remove or replace the graffiti that is preventing the ideal experience. Here’s one client who shares her story of how her team changed a few words in a greeting to create a better patient experience.