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With wide-ranging practical experience in healthcare gained from 17 years as a vice president at New York and Connecticut hospitals, as well as directing a quality initiative program for a national PPO with 19 million members, Susan Keane Baker is someone you can believe in when it comes to healthcare. She has spoken in 47 of the 50 states and been awarded the General Electric Circle Award alongside a Life Communicators Award of Excellence. She also holds the highest possible rank in the speaking profession, being a Certified Speaking Professional.

Susan's book Managing Patient Expectations: The Art of Finding & Keeping Loyal Patients reached #3 on the bestseller list for Amazon.com's general medicine category. She is also co-author, with Leslie Bank, of “I'm Sorry to Hear That..." Real Life Responses to Patients' 101 Most Common Complaints about Health Care.

Alongside her speaking work, Susan is also a member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, and a Commissioner of the Connecticut State Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.

With dynamic enthusiasm, a passion for improvement in healthcare and expert knowledge of improvement strategies, Susan can guarantee your staff will be inspired to implement changes that will enhance their job satisfaction and patient outcomes.

Full Profile

    Susan Keane Baker MHA, is the author of Managing Patient Expectations: The Art of Finding & Keeping Loyal Patients. Her book has been ranked #3 on Amazon.com’s list of 100 top sellers in the general medicine category. With Leslie Bank, she is co-author of “I′m Sorry to Hear That…” Real Life Responses to Patients′ 101 Most Common Complaints About Health Care.

    Susan is an experienced health care professional with seventeen years experience as vice president at New York and Connecticut hospitals. She also directed the quality initiatives program for a national PPO with 19 million members.

    Since starting her own company in 1994, Susan has spoken for groups in 47 states. Who are the holdouts? Well, if you know anyone in North Dakota, Alaska or Montana…..

    For her communications work, Susan was awarded the General Electric Circle Award and a Life Communicators Award of Excellence. She is a Certified Speaking Professional, the highest earned designation of the speaking profession. Susan is a Commissioner of the Connecticut State Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.

    Susan is a current member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.

    Throughout her career, Susan has been pegged a workaholic by friends. The point was proven when she was struck by lightning while traveling to give a presentation. The speech took precedence over a visit to the emergency department. When she’s not traveling, Susan enjoys spending time on the Connecticut River with her husband George and children Jane and Thomas.

    Known for providing practical, relevant content in a dynamic and enthusiastic manner, Susan will inspire your staff or association members to implement strategies that result in enhanced job and patient satisfaction.


Susan Keane Baker Speaker Videos Back to top

Webinar


Susan Keane Baker brings her expertise to the issues of implementing patient satisfaction programs. Asked for one thing that patient managers should do today to implement a patient satisfaction program, she says, “The one thing would be that if the patient manager hasn't already done so, to pull out the patient management survey which is being used by the practice or the system, and… spend a few minutes persuading people to fill out the survey in the way that they believe the average patient at the practice would fill it out, and where they don't give the practice the highest ratings, what would need to be done to raise the bar in that area?"

Describing the ways in which the use of information technology can reduce the burden administrative services she uses an example from Blue Hill Hospital: “They have what I believe to be the best description of things like copayments, and deductibles, and you think of how much time we spend answering questions about insurance for patients, it's all these things tied up in a bow, and if you have access to the Internet you can say to patients let me show you the website, so someone asks you can refer back to this."

Addressing issues of patient trust, Ms. Baker explains, “There are three questions that patients are asking about the practice and the people that provide care service. The first is can I trust you, the second is are you good at what you do and the third is will you care about me? So when we look at can I trust you… the amount of time spent with a patient, there is a correlation in the way they perceive trust, because the person cares enough to give time."


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Susan Keane Baker offers a series of presentations dealing with health care issues, particularly those around patient satisfaction. Many of her presentations are also applicable to other fields, dealing as they do with issues found in all workplaces such as dealing with difficult customers and training yourself to become a good listener.

Susan sets out a series of simple techniques for increasing patient trust, confidence and follow-through which will lead to increased patient retention and greater job satisfaction. She also demonstrates how leaders can develop a culture of service excellence by taking the exercises she teaches and implementing them in your work environment.

Setting particular store by discretionary effort, Susan shows how you can enthuse and train your staff so that they give of their best at all times, not just when the supervisor is watching. If things do go wrong, or are perceived to go wrong, your ability to deal effectively with patient complaints can be the difference between swift resolution and a malpractice suit. Susan has written a whole book about how to deal with patient complaints in healthcare and her expertise could well save you from expensive legal action, whether warranted or not–it's something you literally can't afford to miss.

Managing Patient Expectations
Patient retention, referrals and the personal rewards of working in health care are closely linked to the quality of relationships developed with patients and their families. Managing expectations is a process of helping people know how to be right and when to be satisfied, through word-of-mouth commentary, advertising, first impressions and responsive communication. How can you manage unrealistic expectations in a way that satisfies your patient and preserves your relationship? Attend this program to expand your knowledge about how to increase patient trust, confidence and follow-through.

Getting to 99: Achieving a Culture of Service Excellence
Leaders have a responsibility to teach and inspire staff to interact with others in a positive manner. What does it take to develop a culture of service excellence, where commitment to patients is expected and routine? How can you take what you learn at a service quality program and integrate that knowledge in your own organization? After attending this program you will be able to recognize and reduce the obstacles to maintaining a culture of service excellence; use exercises and assessments taught in this program with your own staff; and encourage appropriate discretionary behavior on the part of staff.

Yes! You Can Soothe, Smooth and Improve Difficult People
Some people are harder to care for than others. This program will provide you with strategies and dialogue for interactions with the “personality-challenged” folks in your life. After attending this program, you will be able to: identify reasons why people are difficult; predict when you are prone to overreact to the difficult person; use empathy and tact even when under pressure; avoid mirroring the angry person; respond calmly to difficult people; and reduce the stress of difficult interactions.

The Credibility/Likeability Makeover
You may know people who are very talented at the technical aspects of their work. Yet, if singularly focused on the technical task aspects, they may be off the charts in terms of expertise, but lacking in the social skills that inspire trust and loyalty. You may also know people who are amusing to know but have difficulty inspiring others to have confidence in their competence. They’re good at what they do, but others don’t see it somehow.

One Great Leadership Skill: Knowing How to Inspire Discretionary Effort
You want the patient care provided in your organization to reflect your values, and your commitment to caring. Leaders have a responsibility to teach and inspire staff to interact with others in a positive manner. What does it take to develop a culture of service excellence, where commitment to patients is expected and routine? Your success in making this happen depends on the discretionary effort of your staff. What are the three elements that inspire discretionary effort? What can you do with the “Eddie Haskells” – the employees who work with enthusiasm only when their supervisor is in view?

Instant Rapport: How To Inspire Trust and Confidence When You Have Too Little Time and Too Many Patients
Have you ever met someone and instantly liked the person, without even being sure why? Would your life be easier if people felt that way about you? What are three strategies you can use to create quick rapport when time is limited? Learn how to create the kind of rapport that inspires patients and other important people in your life to trust you.

"I′m sorry to hear that..." Service Recovery Skills to Restore Patient Satisfaction
Complaining about something is the person’s way to saying, “I need your help.” How you and your colleagues handle that expression of unhappiness will have a lot to do with whether the patient chooses to remain loyal, or will seek care elsewhere. Unresolved complaints can result in a negative word of mouth, adverse publicity and malpractice suits. Service recovery skills help you respond to complaints with greater ease and in a way that helps you preserve and even improve the relationship. This presentation provides: best practices in service recovery; effective responses to specific patient complaints; what to do and say when the patient is wrong; techniques to prevent escalation of difficult situations; how to develop responses you can choose from when patients complain about billing, service quality, their environment, your colleagues, and communication.

Taking Service Quality To the Next Level: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes
What do successful organizations do to maintain the momentum of their service quality initiatives? How can you sustain the gains you’ve made and take your program to the next level? Strategies of highly regarding service leaders will be discussed - sixty in sixty minutes!

The World is Full of Cactus, but We Don′t Have to Sit on It
Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. Whether it is an encounter with a difficult person, a difficult day, or an unwanted change, the cactus in our lives can take a toll. You’ll learn how to dust yourself off and maintain a positive outlook - whatever life brings your way.

Listening Bootcamp
If you know someone who is a good listener, you probably admire that person. A good listener lets you know that you are both important and interesting. A good listener seems to intuitively know what another person needs in order to feel better. Effective listening is hard work. For most of us, becoming an effective listener requires specific behavior changes and a commitment to practice new skills until they become second-nature. This presentation will be a listening workshop that will be low on theory and high on practical application. A good healer is a good listener. Effective listening is the most important thing you can do to create and sustain a positive relationship with another person. When you improve your listening skills, you get more from your relationships, both professional and personal.



Susan Keane Baker Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “I enjoyed the different techniques with examples for communicating with patients. Loved the humor!”
    Cindy Lundmark
    Vice President
    St. Croix Regional Medical Center

    “Thank you – this was wonderful. Practical tips. An insightful and caring presentation.” Ellen Coughlin
    Vice President, Patient & Family Services
    Saint Barnabas Hospice

    “The ideas were “real” – things I could immediately use.” Jane Atkins
    Director of Support Services
    Mountain View Medical Center

    “I liked the review of multiple strategies to handle complaints in a positive way.” Diana Batchelor
    Administrative Director, Clinical Operations
    Ottumwa Regional Health Center

    “Susan exceeded my expectations. Her humor, knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject were contagious."
    Kathryn Zimmerman
    Director, Patient Relations
    Christ Hospital

    “This program offered many techniques for patient relations – dealing with negative issues and difficult people, how to get to a satisfactory resolution for both the patient and the medical center.”
    Karen Caruso
    Quality Management/Patient Relations
    St. Vincent’s Medical Center

    “Good humor interjected. Stories were ever so helpful. Very well done – held my attention the entire time!”
    Janene Yeater
    Quality Management Director
    MedCentral Health System

    “Great ideas that can be quickly implemented.”
    Angi Miller
    Patient Representative
    Ottumwa Regional Health Center

    “The presentation made me think about why I went into medicine in the first place. I learned a lot and it made me think about my practice in a different way.”
    Madeline B. Morris, MD
    Child Health Associates

    “Right on the money… simple, practical tools for exceptional patient care.”
    Virginia Gortych-Barnes MD
    Physician Advisor
    Pocono Medical Center

    “Terrific presentation. Dynamic speaker. Can’t think of a single way to improve the program.”
    William F. Schmidt MD PhD
    Medical Director, Children’s Hospital
    Greenville Health System




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    “I enjoyed the different techniques with examples for communicating with patients. Loved the humor!”
    Cindy Lundmark
    Vice President
    St. Croix Regional Medical Center

    “Thank you – this was wonderful. Practical tips. An insightful and caring presentation.” Ellen Coughlin
    Vice President, Patient & Family Services
    Saint Barnabas Hospice

    “The ideas were “real” – things I could immediately use.” Jane Atkins
    Director of Support Services
    Mountain View Medical Center

    “I liked the review of multiple strategies to handle complaints in a positive way.” Diana Batchelor
    Administrative Director, Clinical Operations
    Ottumwa Regional Health Center

    “Susan exceeded my expectations. Her humor, knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject were contagious."
    Kathryn Zimmerman
    Director, Patient Relations
    Christ Hospital

    “This program offered many techniques for patient relations – dealing with negative issues and difficult people, how to get to a satisfactory resolution for both the patient and the medical center.”
    Karen Caruso
    Quality Management/Patient Relations
    St. Vincent’s Medical Center

    “Good humor interjected. Stories were ever so helpful. Very well done – held my attention the entire time!”
    Janene Yeater
    Quality Management Director
    MedCentral Health System

    “Great ideas that can be quickly implemented.”
    Angi Miller
    Patient Representative
    Ottumwa Regional Health Center

    “The presentation made me think about why I went into medicine in the first place. I learned a lot and it made me think about my practice in a different way.”
    Madeline B. Morris, MD
    Child Health Associates

    “Right on the money… simple, practical tools for exceptional patient care.”
    Virginia Gortych-Barnes MD
    Physician Advisor
    Pocono Medical Center

    “Terrific presentation. Dynamic speaker. Can’t think of a single way to improve the program.”
    William F. Schmidt MD PhD
    Medical Director, Children’s Hospital
    Greenville Health System


    Managing Patient Expectations: The Art of Finding and Keeping Loyal Patients
    This important resource describes how to develop the qualities of understanding, empathy, and compassion that help to meet and exceed patient expectations. Managing Patient Expectations is filled with realistic and cost-effective strategies for maintaining patient satisfaction, creating loyalty, and increasing referrals. Susan Keane Baker explains how to find out what patients really think and how physicians can best respond in a variety of situations. Co-published with the Healthcare Assembly Press.
    Order Here




    I′m Sorry to Hear That...: Real Life Responses to Patients′ 101 Most Common Complaints about Health Care
    Complaining about something is a patient′s way of saying, “I need your help.” How you and your colleagues handle that expression of unhappiness will have a lot to do with whether the patient chooses to remain loyal, or will seek care elsewhere. Unresolved complaints can result in a negative word of mouth, adverse publicity and malpractice suits.

    Service recovery skills help you respond to complaints with greater ease and in a way that helps you preserve and even improve the relationship. This book provides: best practices in service recovery; effective responses to specific patient complaints; what to do and say when the patient is wrong; techniques to prevent escalation of difficult situations; how to develop responses you can choose from when patients complain about billing, service quality, their environment, your colleagues, and communication.
    Order Here





Managing Patient Expectations
Patient retention, referrals and the personal rewards of working in health care are closely linked to the quality of relationships developed with patients and their families. Managing expectations is a process of helping people know how to be right and when to be satisfied, through word-of-mouth commentary, advertising, first impressions and responsive communication. How can you manage unrealistic expectations in a way that satisfies your patient and preserves your relationship? Attend this program to expand your knowledge about how to increase patient trust, confidence and follow-through.

Getting to 99: Achieving a Culture of Service Excellence
Leaders have a responsibility to teach and inspire staff to interact with others in a positive manner. What does it take to develop a culture of service excellence, where commitment to patients is expected and routine? How can you take what you learn at a service quality program and integrate that knowledge in your own organization? After attending this program you will be able to recognize and reduce the obstacles to maintaining a culture of service excellence; use exercises and assessments taught in this program with your own staff; and encourage appropriate discretionary behavior on the part of staff.

Yes! You Can Soothe, Smooth and Improve Difficult People
Some people are harder to care for than others. This program will provide you with strategies and dialogue for interactions with the “personality-challenged” folks in your life. After attending this program, you will be able to: identify reasons why people are difficult; predict when you are prone to overreact to the difficult person; use empathy and tact even when under pressure; avoid mirroring the angry person; respond calmly to difficult people; and reduce the stress of difficult interactions.

The Credibility/Likeability Makeover
You may know people who are very talented at the technical aspects of their work. Yet, if singularly focused on the technical task aspects, they may be off the charts in terms of expertise, but lacking in the social skills that inspire trust and loyalty. You may also know people who are amusing to know but have difficulty inspiring others to have confidence in their competence. They’re good at what they do, but others don’t see it somehow.

One Great Leadership Skill: Knowing How to Inspire Discretionary Effort
You want the patient care provided in your organization to reflect your values, and your commitment to caring. Leaders have a responsibility to teach and inspire staff to interact with others in a positive manner. What does it take to develop a culture of service excellence, where commitment to patients is expected and routine? Your success in making this happen depends on the discretionary effort of your staff. What are the three elements that inspire discretionary effort? What can you do with the “Eddie Haskells” – the employees who work with enthusiasm only when their supervisor is in view?

Instant Rapport: How To Inspire Trust and Confidence When You Have Too Little Time and Too Many Patients
Have you ever met someone and instantly liked the person, without even being sure why? Would your life be easier if people felt that way about you? What are three strategies you can use to create quick rapport when time is limited? Learn how to create the kind of rapport that inspires patients and other important people in your life to trust you.

"I′m sorry to hear that..." Service Recovery Skills to Restore Patient Satisfaction
Complaining about something is the person’s way to saying, “I need your help.” How you and your colleagues handle that expression of unhappiness will have a lot to do with whether the patient chooses to remain loyal, or will seek care elsewhere. Unresolved complaints can result in a negative word of mouth, adverse publicity and malpractice suits. Service recovery skills help you respond to complaints with greater ease and in a way that helps you preserve and even improve the relationship. This presentation provides: best practices in service recovery; effective responses to specific patient complaints; what to do and say when the patient is wrong; techniques to prevent escalation of difficult situations; how to develop responses you can choose from when patients complain about billing, service quality, their environment, your colleagues, and communication.

Taking Service Quality To the Next Level: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes
What do successful organizations do to maintain the momentum of their service quality initiatives? How can you sustain the gains you’ve made and take your program to the next level? Strategies of highly regarding service leaders will be discussed - sixty in sixty minutes!

The World is Full of Cactus, but We Don′t Have to Sit on It
Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. Whether it is an encounter with a difficult person, a difficult day, or an unwanted change, the cactus in our lives can take a toll. You’ll learn how to dust yourself off and maintain a positive outlook - whatever life brings your way.

Listening Bootcamp
If you know someone who is a good listener, you probably admire that person. A good listener lets you know that you are both important and interesting. A good listener seems to intuitively know what another person needs in order to feel better. Effective listening is hard work. For most of us, becoming an effective listener requires specific behavior changes and a commitment to practice new skills until they become second-nature. This presentation will be a listening workshop that will be low on theory and high on practical application. A good healer is a good listener. Effective listening is the most important thing you can do to create and sustain a positive relationship with another person. When you improve your listening skills, you get more from your relationships, both professional and personal.


Webinar


Susan Keane Baker brings her expertise to the issues of implementing patient satisfaction programs. Asked for one thing that patient managers should do today to implement a patient satisfaction program, she says, “The one thing would be that if the patient manager hasn't already done so, to pull out the patient management survey which is being used by the practice or the system, and… spend a few minutes persuading people to fill out the survey in the way that they believe the average patient at the practice would fill it out, and where they don't give the practice the highest ratings, what would need to be done to raise the bar in that area?"

Describing the ways in which the use of information technology can reduce the burden administrative services she uses an example from Blue Hill Hospital: “They have what I believe to be the best description of things like copayments, and deductibles, and you think of how much time we spend answering questions about insurance for patients, it's all these things tied up in a bow, and if you have access to the Internet you can say to patients let me show you the website, so someone asks you can refer back to this."

Addressing issues of patient trust, Ms. Baker explains, “There are three questions that patients are asking about the practice and the people that provide care service. The first is can I trust you, the second is are you good at what you do and the third is will you care about me? So when we look at can I trust you… the amount of time spent with a patient, there is a correlation in the way they perceive trust, because the person cares enough to give time."