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Service Excellence

Provide excellent service by following AIDET.


  • Acknowledge the patient or co-worker with a friendly greeting or by name. Make eye contact. Smile.
    • Ask: “Is there anything I can do for you?”
    • Say: “Good morning/afternoon/evening.”


  • Introduce yourself.
  • Give your name to a patient or co-worker.
  • You can mention your skill set, your professional certification, and experience to a patient to make them feel at ease.
  • For a co-worker, let them know what department you are in.


  • Let them know how long a task may take.
  • For a patient, give an accurate time expectation for tests, physician arrival, or tray delivery.
  • For a co-worker, let them know how long you anticipate a project can take or how many meetings you may need to have to complete the project.


  • For both the patient and the co-worker: Explain step by step what will happen, answer questions, and leave a phone number or other form of contact where you can be reached and when.


  • Thank the patient for choosing your hospital, and for their communication and cooperation.

  • Thank the family for assistance and being there to support the patient.
  • Thank the co-worker for their help in the project.

Treat patients, customers and coworkers with courtesy, respect and compassion.

Welcome and greet patients and customers immediately and in a friendly manner.

  • Use the 5/10 Rule: At 10 feet, smile warmly and make eye contact. At 5 feet acknowledge with a greeting such as good morning.
  • Use courtesy words and phrases in a friendly tone of voice such as hello, good morning, thank you, please, excuse me, you’re welcome.
  • Maintain an open and welcoming body posture. Sit or stand up straight. Keep hand quiet-folded in lap/on desk if sitting, in front of you if standing. Focus on the customer. Do not fidget. Do not cross your arms in front of you.
  • Introduce yourself by name and role and tell your customer what you are going to do.
    • “Good morning Mr. Smith, my name is Jill. I am a nursing assistant. I am here to take your vital signs.”
    • “Hello, my name is ________; I will be taking care of you today. I spoke with the ER physician and he mentioned that you have been feeling this way for one week. I will review the testing that was completed in the ER once it becomes available. Once I have done this I will be back in to discuss my findings within a couple of hours. Do you have any questions for me now? If you have any further questions please speak with your nurse __________ and she will contact me. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your healthcare; please let me know if I can do anything else for you.”

Make everyone feel important.

  • Give patients and customers your full attention with your eyes, words and body language.
  • Avoiding using short, curt words, answers or ignoring someone who is speaking to you.

Rudeness is never acceptable.

  • Use positive, assertive, can-do language with lots of “I” messages.
    • “Here’s what I can do…”
    • “Yes, I can find out.”
    • “I think the best option is...”
    • “I understand why you...”
  • Avoid negative language and “you” messages.
    • “I don’t know.”
    • “You can’t do that.”
    • “No.”
    • “Yes, but…”
    • “You should’ve…..”
    • “You need to….”
  • Sit down with patients/customers while talking to them if you can. Doing so says "I have time for you.”
  • Engage patients and their families as active participants in care. Remember that they are a very important part of the care team.
    • “Please use this note pad to write down any questions you might have. That way we will have them ready when the doctor comes by later today.”
  • Meet patient’s/customer’s needs immediately or take them to someone who can.
  • Demonstrate empathy by using words and actions that show you care about customers.
    • “I understand how frustrating that must be. I’ll help you with it right away.”
  • Be aware of the power of conversation and kind words. Customers/co-workers appreciate it when you ask them about important events in their lives.
    • “How was vacation Mr. Smith? Did you have a good time?”
  • Respond to all phone messages and e-mails in a timely manner, based on your customer’s request. For most requests, a response within 12-24 working hours is appropriate. For some, a faster response is needed. Remember: it is common courtesy to acknowledge a customer’s message and follow up.

Maintain dignity and privacy.

  • Knock, announce yourself and ask permission before entering someone’s room or office.
    • “Hello, Mr. Jones, I am _____ a nurse here, may I come in?”
  • Let patient know you are concerned about their comfort and privacy by closing doors, screens or curtains. Don’t speak so loudly that you can be overheard by others who don’t need to hear your conversation.
  • Give patients the option of having all visitors leave their room before performing any procedure or discussing personal health information.
    • "Mrs. Jones we are going to check the progress of your labor, would you like for your visitors to wait outside? I will get them as soon as we are finished, it should only take about 5 minutes.”

Demonstrate sensitivity to any delay or inconvenience.

  • Be aware of inconveniences your customers experience, especially a delay, acknowledge it. Everyone’s time is valuable.
  • Apologize for and explain any delay, even if it is not your fault.
  • Check in frequently with patients and other customers who are waiting.

Respond quickly and appropriately to customer requests.

Manage your time and help others manage theirs.

  • Be punctual with appointment and deadlines.
    • “Good afternoon, Bill. Remember the discussion we had last week about updating the brochures? I wanted to let you know that a volunteer is currently folding the brochures. The project should be done by the end of the week—I’ll be sure to call you when you can pick them up.”
  • Recognize that everyone’s time is valuable. Never be too busy to assist.
  • Let your customer know if you’re going to be late or miss a deadline. Remember if you are running behind, you could affect the work of others.
    • “Lacey, this is Virginia. I wanted to let you know that my appointment is running longer than anticipated. I won’t be able to make it to my volunteer shift in the Gift Shoppe.”

Hold yourself and others accountable for customer requests.

  • Eliminate excuses for service problems such as shortages, inadequate supplies and equipment. Your customers don’t care-they just want you to help them. Never point fingers. And don’t blame the customer.
  • Set appropriate expectations as to when a request can be fulfilled. Negotiate, if necessary, to meet mutual need.
    • “I will be able to complete that assignment by the end of the week. Will that meet your needs?”
    • “Mr. Johnson, I’m happy to pick up your car from valet. I have one patient in front of you, but will be able to get your car right afterward. It shouldn’t be longer than five minutes-is that okay?”
  • Check in with your customer to ensure that the request has been completed to his satisfaction.
    • “Kathy, I sent the missing pieces of the Purchase Order (PO) to Materials Management yesterday. Have you received it? Is there anything else that you need from me?”
  • Focus on the customer’s perception in all misunderstanding.
    • “Mrs. Bear, you seem upset about something. Please tell me what is concerning you.”
  • Inform patients and other customers when you will return or get back to them, rather than having them make repeated requests.
    • “Mr. Madden, I want to make sure that we respond to your concern in the best way possible. Because of that, I’d like to talk with my supervisor. Even if I don’t have a complete answer, I’ll get back to you later today.”
    • “I am sorry that your food tray was not what you ordered, Mrs. Trump. I’ve called the dietary department. They are currently making up another food-tray for you, which will take about 20 minutes. I know you’re hungry. May I get you a snack from our kitchen while you wait?”

Anticipate customer needs and pro-actively initiate action to meet those needs.

Be proactive.

  • Be prepared to provide and respond with helpful information for frequently asked questions.
    • “Mrs. Jones I understand you have never had physical therapy before. Please let me explain some things so you’ll know what to expect."
    • “So nice to see you this morning, Miss Franks. Your appointment with the doctor is at 10 am and she is running about 15 minutes late today. May I get you a cup of coffee or something to read while you wait?”
  • Be aware and attentive to nonverbal communication from patients, visitors, and co-workers. In a situation where a patient may look confused or lost, “Hello, can I help you find something.” Or, if your co-worker is appearing stressed or hurried, please take a minute to offer your help.
  • Plan ahead to address needs and prevent delays.
    • “Since our computers will be down during the upgrade, we will pre-register our patients the day before so we can continue to run on time.”
  • Consider your customers’ special needs in advance, such as those pertaining to culture, religion, or to the hearing-impaired or physically disabled.
    • Be well versed and ready to offer the Language Line if needed. The CCH Language Line can be accessed at nursing units throughout the hospital, in the Emergency Department and Campbell County Medical Group Clinics. Please see the Language Access policy in Policy Manager for further information on setting up a Language Line in your department. For those patients who may be hearing impaired, CCH offers sign language interpreters. Contact the House Supervisor at ext. 2407.
    • If you are aware a patient will need extra time and assistance due to mobility challenges, please schedule accordingly.
  • Prevent errors by being observant and fixing them ahead of time.
    • “See it, say it, fix it.” If you see a problem, speak up and make sure the problem is fixed.
  • Clean up spills and debris immediately.

Take action.

  • Consider and think of the customers’ perspective.
    • “Mrs. Cook, you look a little confused with those directions, can I walk you there?”
    • Or, “Good morning. You look lost. Is there something I can help you find?”
  • Educate customers about treatments/procedures, patients about possible side effects and what to expect following a procedure/treatment.
    • Please take the time with patients and their families to explain the details and what to expect during and after their time with us. If there is a lot of information please write it down or have it available in a pamphlet along with a phone number to call if they have any questions. This is a great and easy way to relieve anxiety. In return, calming the patient’s fears and resolving any questions, allowing them to feel well taken care of.
  • Take the initiative to keep customers informed.
    • “Mr. Sinclair, so you are aware and not alarmed, we are in the midst of some new construction down the hall. There may be some noise from this over the next half hour.”
    • Or, “Mrs. Jackson, I’m very sorry you’ve had to wait, we are running a bit behind. I know your time is very important, we apologize for the inconvenience.”
    • Or, “Good afternoon. I noticed that you are waiting for your friend to park the car. Did you know that Campbell County Health now offers valet? Would you like more information on how to use this service?”
  • Respond to all phone messages and electronic mail in a reasonable time frame.
    • Depending on customer request, most phone responses within 12 to 24 hours is appropriate. Response to electronic mail should occur within 24 to 48 hours. If you cannot meet this time frame, please touch base with the customer to relay this. Costumers will appreciate your courtesy by acknowledging their message and following up.

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