The Patient Experience: Model of Customer Service


One can generalize healthcare provision as hospitality characterized by healing. The clinical outcome, the healing part of the equation, is undeniably an important aspect of healthcare provision. The hospitality aspect of the equation commonly referred to as the patient experience is equally important. Patient experience is of great significance to them and their loved ones (Huber, 2013). The study explores in greater depth Stanford Health Care (SHC) patient experience by examining their model of customer service.

Stanford Customer Service/ Patient Experience Model

Stanford Health Care employs the C-I-CARE Framework to offer the best patient experience (”Nursing,” n.d.). The design is centered on the best practice communication tailored to developing good doctor-patient relationship founded on care approach. C-I-CARE model outlines words that work, which offers SHC team member guidelines on how to deal with patients. It entails the following standards: connecting with people by calling them by their name, introducing oneself and one’s role, asking permission before examining or entering a patient’s room, responding to their queries, and exiting courteously. The patient, under the model, is made aware of all undertakings and what to expect concerning their health.

Measures employed to assess the level of customers’ service involve administration of patient experience surveys. These surveys are administered confidentially and sometimes anonymously through the Press Ganey (”Nursing,” n.d.). Following a stay or visit, the Health Center samples the patients and sends them a survey via the mail in order to improve service delivery. The best performing medical practitioners are recognized as leaders and rewarded with being selected for a leadership conference where they will be trained about leadership roles. However, besides the direction meetings, Stanford has In-Service programs for staff training on best health care practices.

The Functionality of the C-I-CARE Model

The working of the C-I-CARE Model is anchored to healing through science and compassion. The design is efficient as it incorporates compassion, caring, professionalism, teamwork, and good communication in patient care. The model makes the medical center hospitable to the patient and their loved ones. For instance, through the one patient at a time approach, the doctors can have an in-depth conversation with the patient and identify any other psychological problem the latter may be afflicted with. Consequently, they can offer counseling service and make the patient feel at home hence improving their mental wellbeing. In another incident, through teamwork, doctors can coordinate treatment through evidence-based practices through sharing and passing of trust when handing over. Sharing of individual diagnosis findings during treatment allows the patients to receive the best care possible.

Application of C-I-CARE Model in My Unit

The use of the C-I-CARE Model in my unit is anchored to four key pillars: teamwork, communication, professionalism and pride, and compassion and caring (”Nursing,” n.d.). We show compassion and care in my unit by upholding positive attitudes, respecting individual and cultural differences, directing visitors, and protecting confidential client information. Professionalism is maintained through keeping a professional appearance, establishing eye contact with the patient and other visitors, limiting personal communication, and speaking in moderate tones. Through teamwork, we accomplish assignments and commitments, treat all patients without discrimination, and transfer trust when handing over. Communication entails positive interaction among staff and patients, use of proper and understandable language, providing prompt feedback, and being apologetic when we are wrong.

The nurses are central to the realization of these four primary pillars of C-I-CARE Model in our unit. The manager nurse coordinates all nursing activities within our department, acts as a link to another unit, and oversees the implementation of C-I-CARE Model.

Measures of Customer Satisfaction

Interviewing patients and their loved ones is the basis for evaluating customer satisfaction level in our unit. Based on the feedback, we can gauge customer satisfaction level founded on a scale of one to five ranging from the best to the worst. If comfort level is high, we encourage the continued strict application of C-I-CARE Framework. However, if satisfaction levels are low we “design thinking” where nurse assumes the role of a patient and assesses what we missed (”Nursing,” n.d.). After going through the emergency room experience, the volunteer nurses recommend amendments to C-I-CARE model to enhance customer service.

Why Customer Satisfaction is Now Tied to Reimbursement

Customer satisfaction is directly related to quality performance (Vogus & McClelland, 2016). One cannot achieve customer satisfaction without quality services. Consequently, reimbursement is tied to quality performance which is more or less the same as customer satisfaction.


Ideally, customer service or patient experience is a function of healing and hospitality. Stanford Health Care understands the implications of this statement and has established and implemented the C-I-CARE model in an attempt to be hospital to the patients and their loved ones. The idea is to provide a personalized service in line with the patients’ needs and requirements with the ultimate objective of achieving greater customer satisfaction.


Huber, D. (2013). Leadership and nursing care management (5th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Nursing: Patient centered care and education (n.d.). Retrieved from

Vogus, T. J., & McClelland, L. E. (2016). When the customer is the patient: Lessons from healthcare research on patient satisfaction and service quality ratings. Human Resource Management Review, 26(1), 37-49.