Even when people say you’re doing a great job, it’s a good idea to ask how to do even better.
That’s the purpose of ABHOW’s Resident Opinion Survey, which offers residents of ABHOW continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) an opportunity to tell the company what it’s doing well and ways it can improve.
“We know there’s always room for improvement, and sometimes we have our own ideas on where that might be,” says Jeff Glaze, senior vice president and chief operations manager for CCRCs. “But when we go to our residents to get their ideas on where we need to focus, it takes the guesswork out of deciding where we need to improve our services for, and our relationships with, residents.”
After an interlude of about one and a half years since the last survey, July marks the beginning of the next survey. A new survey firm, My InnerView, will help ABHOW gather feedback efficiently and cover a longer period of time than previous years.
“The key change is that we’ll be doing surveys throughout the year” says Glaze. “In July we’ll survey everyone, and that will set a new baseline. We don’t want to create survey fatigue for our residents, so we’ll provide a six-month break, and in January 2013 we’ll start surveying a quarter of the residents every three months.”
The ongoing surveys will provide community executive directors ongoing feedback on the initiatives they’re undertaking in response to the previous survey. It will also allow them to change course, if necessary, to improve the services they’re delivering to residents.
One additional change will ensure that short-term rehabilitation residents who pass through The Village, ABHOW’s health care centers, are surveyed, directly or through family members or other caregivers.
“Unless they were in The Village during our two-week survey windows in the past, we didn’t hear from them,” Glaze says.
My InnerView customizes its surveys based on whether the residents, their families or their caregivers are the ones responding.
“I think it’s important when someone is completing a survey as a third party that it’s directed to them, rather than asking them to try to put themselves in the resident’s shoes,” Glaze says.
My InnerView will also offer the option of responding to the survey either on paper or online. Glaze points out that online responses will reach executive directors faster.
He adds that the expansion and refinement of ABHOW’s MyChoice dining program over the past two years is an example of how previous survey results led to change, specifically more dining options for residents.
“Based on previous surveys, one area we made a deliberate effort to improve was the dining services area, so I’m really eager to see the responses from the changes we put into place there,” he says.
Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves more than 5,000 residents in 42 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
To learn more about ABHOW visit www.abhow.com.
This article appears in the June 2012 issue of ABHOW Words.