Policy & Measurement

The effect of service excellence training: Examining providers’ patient experience scores

Previous research and applied work has shown that communication-based training has the potential to impact important outcomes for healthcare organizations. Our institution developed and deployed Service Excellence, a communications-focused training, in our large academic cancer-focused healthcare system. In this study, we investigated whether patient experience improved for those with care providers who completed Service Excellence, as measured by Press Ganey Provider Experience surveys, and whether the effect of Service Excellence training depends on employee engagement. Results indicated that participating in Service Excellence training positively impacts perceptions of patient experience, and that the impact of the training is stronger for providers with low engagement as compared to providers with high engagement. Findings suggest that communications-based training can be an effective mitigation strategy to assist even those low engaged physicians with displaying the expected behaviors for positive patient interactions. Implications for healthcare organizations are discussed, including the rationale for motivating providers to attend such training.