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Nov 1, 2021

Justin Bright MD, CPXP is an attending physician and the Assistant Medical Director for Patient Experience in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He is fascinated by the intersection of patient experience, interpersonal communication, customer service, and employee engagement. Check out his ideas at or on The Patient Experience podcast on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other listening platform you enjoy. In this episode, we learn that patient satisfaction and the patient experience are different things. We can improve the patient experience by asking open-ended questions, recognizing nonverbal cues, validating emotion, and pausing to listen.


We discuss:

  • A patient satisfaction survey rant [02:45];
  • The “patient experience” and how it is influenced by every conceivable touchpoint, perception, and logistical thing that may happen to a patient [11:10];
  • How making a purposeful choice to care helps ensure that our patients have a positive experience [16:15];
  • The power of the pause [19:35];
  • Avoiding the “doorknob complaint” by asking open-ended rather than direct questions [22:00]; 
  • Efficiently handling the situation when a patient has extra questions after you thought you had already completed the encounter [24:50];
  • The best way to acknowledge a patient’s long wait [26:40];
  • How to respond to the disgruntled patient who voices complaints about other people involved in their care or their prolonged wait [29:30]
  • Deescalating the unhappy patient whose expectations of care were not met [33:10];
  • Salvaging the situation when a patient threatens to call the nurse administrator or an attorney [39:10];
  • And more.


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