Alverno Laboratories
Articles & White Papers

PCL Alverno strives to bring “The Alverno Experience” to every patient through emphasis on customer engagement.

In the field of medicine, trust is paramount. Alverno is cognizant of how important trust is in their relationship with patients and have taken extraordinary measures to ensure “The Alverno Experience” exceeds all patient expectations.

“The goal is to transform Laboratory Science into a human experience,” says Susan Kretz, MBA, MHA, MT(ASCP), Manager of Point of Care Testing and leader of Alverno’s Customer Experience team. “We want to establish patient engagement, and we have found that depends on employee engagement.”

Alverno has one central laboratory in Hammond, Indiana. They have 120 locations throughout Indiana and Illinois, with an annual growth rate of 20 percent. Over 1700 dedicated employees help Alverno to make the patient experience the best it can be.

Kretz gave a presentation at the 2018 Next Generation Patient Experience Conference this past November. During the presentation, Kretz touched on the points Alverno uses to engage patients in their laboratory process.

During her talk, Kretz shared the relationship between employee and patient engagement.

“In 2016 I was given the opportunity to lead the customer experience committee as part of our (Alverno Business Systems) initiatives,” she says. “I was leading a diverse group of employees with different backgrounds in experience, cultural, and work departments. Some members were well versed on customer experience. Others were starting from step one. We needed direction, so we created a mission to keep us on track.”

That mission was to provide education, direction, and tools that allowed each team member to create the Alverno experience for their customers. They developed a definition for their goals; “To complete each customer interaction in a respectful and expedient way that creates a favorable experience for all that inspires loyalty to Alverno.”

The team began with basics such as employee education, phlebotomy competency, and employee surveys. Next was the creation of a Leadership Development Institute.

“Education is very important at Alverno since we deal with clinical procedures,” Kretz says. “The best way to reach our employees is through a system called Medialab.” They developed a presentation describing the customer experience, who it pertains to, and why it is important. They created a survey directed towards employees that collects feedback on an excellent experience for customers.

“Everyone has a certain experience in mind when receiving clinical care and our goal is to have all patients leave with a positive experience,” Kretz says. “We branded our experience as the Alverno Experience, so employees know how important it is that our patients come to us for exceptional clinical care and a great experience.”

Alverno wants to continue to increase employee engagement and patient satisfaction. To meet that goal, they began to use the HappyorNot terminal. The terminal features a touchscreen and easy to answer questions for patients to use after they have completed their visit.

“At one hospital location we increased responses from 32 to 691 after we installed the Happy-or-Not Terminal,” Kretz says. “The data is easy to read, it’s broken down by day and even hour.”

When the patient selects a green happy face, they are prompted to select from a list of highlights. Highlights include staff attitude, wait time, cleanliness of the room, and staff professionality. If the patient selects a red face, they are prompted to select a pain point which are the same items as our highlights.

“This allows us to determine why the patient was happy or upset right after service, quickly, and anonymously,” Kretz says. “We also see this as a tool to improve employee engagement.”

“To summarize our goals and achievements we think the most important part of a successful customer experience program is to make sure your committee is diverse, your training is constant and through, and to use actionable tools to help you improve your processes,” Kretz summarized during her presentation.

Alverno partners with physicians, hospitals, and clinics to conduct testing that will detect disease in symptomatic as well as asymptomatic patients. Accurate testing is critical for all patients. Healthcare providers need a plan for the timely testing of illness and disease to determine the proper course of action.

Alverno uses the most up-to-date technology to help identify disease causing agents as quickly as possible. Trained Laboratorians test samples, record data, and provide accurate results. Over 30 hospitals in Indiana, Illinois, including Chicago and its suburbs, trust Alverno to deliver accurate test results in a timely manner.