The Devon Hill Approach to Healthcare, Hospital and Medical Mystery Shopping

The Devon Hill Approach to Healthcare, Hospital and Medical Mystery Shopping

Devon Hill Associates has developed a powerful mystery shopping methodology that helps healthcare providers “see” the patient experience as it is shaped by every interaction with physicians, nurses, staff and the environment.

Our clients have high standards and expect the best. We have equally high standards of our mystery shoppers. Our scenarios are complex. The shoppers we engage are “hand-picked.” They need to follow instructions, absorb their surroundings, think quickly and complete precise, descriptive reports.

In a typical mystery shopping assignment, carefully chosen Secret Patients — who know how to think, speak and behave like “real” patients — anonymously call and visit your facilities to test your services and systems. Armed with meticulously crafted scenarios and fictitious (but believable) symptoms and complaints, the mystery shoppers anonymously observe, engage, assess and report on their experiences. By capturing and documenting each moment as it happens — and providing detailed feedback about how each interaction is perceived — the mystery shopping process helps organizations understand what they must do to optimize service performance.

Devon Hill Associates’ Mystery Shopping Services include:

  • Phone Calls (Scheduling, Inquiries, Program Sign-ups) — Mystery Shoppers place calls to your switchboard, call centers, departments, clinics, HMOs, programs and medical offices.
  • Pricing Inquiries — Mystery Shoppers make phone calls and visits to your facilities — and those of your competitors — to inquire about the prices of procedures.
  • Patient Visits (ED/Urgent Care, Inpatient, Outpatient, Clinic, Medical Office) — Patient visits cover scheduling, registration/admitting, transport, treatment/patient care and discharge processes. No one knows the patients aren’t “real.” We’ve even gone up to the point of outpatient surgery!
  • Walk-Through Visits and Observations — Secret Visitors or Family Members sit and observe activities in various waiting rooms, lounges, departments and the cafeteria.
  • Ethnographic Studies — Ethnography includes one or more observations and interviews with carefully chosen “real” patients, family members and caregivers. Ethnography can be quite useful in identifying patient expectations and in highlighting the differences between what people say (interview) and what they do (observation).
  • Real-Secret Patient Pairs — In certain situations, mystery shoppers can become companions to carefully selected real patients.

The Tools We Use

  • Detailed Scenarios
  • Online Training
  • Narrative Accounts of Calls and Visits
  • Multiple Questionnaires
  • Timelines and Call Logs
  • Telephone Debriefings
  • Recordings (when allowed by state law)

Why Use Devon Hill Associates?

For more than 20 years, Devon Hill Associates has used hospital, medical and healthcare mystery shopping as a way to identify barriers that stand in the way of patient satisfaction and an outstanding patient experience. Our clients include hospitals, health centers, clinics, rehabilitation facilities and even health-affiliated facilities, such as hospital-sponsored fitness centers and audiology offices.

We understand the healthcare industry and environment because we’ve worked in them. Barbara Gerber, President of Devon Hill Associates, was a former senior executive in two community hospitals, responsible for the operations of 11 departments, strategic planning, marketing, physician recruitment and new program development.

Devon Hill Associates will put its years of professional experience, knowledge and passion for excellence to work in recruiting, training and preparing mystery shoppers to deliver a smooth and successful mystery shopping program — for you!

Want more information? Keep reading or feel free to contact us.

I want to compliment you and your team for completing such a thorough mystery shopping assignment for the Emergency Department at Tri-City Medical Center. Your detail was extraordinary. Your team of “shoppers” were able to effectively assess our weakness and strengths. Thank you so much for your professionalism and diplomacy.

– Tri-City Medical Center  •  Oceanside, CA

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