Greenwich Hospital’s Hospital-ity
The gardens are superbly maintained. A smiling valet parks your car. At every turn, there are comforting features and amenities: a bubbling aquarium, a sky-lit atrium, a player piano. The Greenwich Hyatt? Nope, Greenwich Hospital.
Thanks to planning and generous donations (from benefactors such as Leona and Harry Helmsley), Greenwich Hospital—which draws more than 40 percent of its patients from Westchester—has rebuilt itself. “Over the course of ten years, we changed every brick on this property without interrupting patient care,” says Christine Beechner, the hospital’s vice president for patient and guest relations. It’s also dramatically improved the quality of service it provides.
To do so, Hospital CEO Frank Corvino decreed that staff “pay attention to what our patients tell us, and pay attention to our service behavior,” says Beechner. Corvino convened several employees, and asked them to come up with a list of behavior standards applicable for everyone—from the ER physician to the janitor. Within two years, those service standards became 60 percent of every employee’s performance appraisal, and incentive programs based on patient satisfaction targets were also introduced. Every Wednesday, Corvino meets with 42 managers and department heads to collectively review every patient comment gathered from surveys. “How would you like to sit with your president and have your president look at you and say, ‘What did you do about this issue?’ in front of forty-two other people? That’s accountability,” says Beechner. The staff’s efforts have paid off: Greenwich Hospital ranks among the top one percent of hospitals nationwide in patient satisfaction, according to the firm that administers the patient surveys. The cultural turnaround has made for happy employees, too. “We have employees commuting here from New York, New Jersey, and even from Rhode Island,” says Beechner. “Several of us, including me, drive by seven or eight other hospitals to get here—and there’s a really good reason for that.”