Are You Transparent with Your Customers?

Griffin Hospital wanted to have no secrets between themselves and their patient “customers,” so they decided to make medical records available to patients and their families.

This gesture showed that managing the journey to health was an equal partnership. They wanted to mend years of a perceived imbalanced relationship, so Griffin made the total transparency of patient medical records an olive branch. Anything the hospital knew, the patient and family could know. In doing so, Griffin Hospital patients could spend all the time they wanted with their records, have them explained, and consider them their “own.” They could even make comments on their own charts.

Are you transparent with your customers

Worried doctors feared that patients armed with this information would fuel an increase in lawsuits. The total opposite occurred. This decision reduced malpractice claims. Patients and families fell into partnership with the medical staff. After Griffin Hospital granted patients and their families access to their medical records, malpractice claims against the hospital dropped by more than 43 percent—from 32 percent in 1996, before the policy was enacted, to 18 percent in 2005. It’s noteworthy to add that this reduction in claims dropped during a period of great growth for Griffin Hospital. Patient discharges rose 40 percent during that period, an increase that usually carries an increase in claims. This decision stopped that cycle.

Trusting patients with their own records grew patient belief in Griffin Hospital, and ultimately contributed to its growth. Griffin earned an 80 percent referral rate from customers who participated in this new decision. Surely there’s a simple gesture you can make to show customers you trust them, that you believe trust is reciprocated.

  • What information are you holding close to your vest because it gives you the power?
  • Is there anything you know that customers could prosper from knowing and understanding?
  • Do you believe trust is reciprocated?

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