Lindner Center of HOPE Staff Psychologist Named Health Care Heroes Finalist

Friday, June 3, 2022

Lindner Center of HOPE Staff Psychologist, Laurie Little, PsyD, was named a finalist for the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2022 Health Care Heroes Awards in the Patient Experience category. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Little’s nomination:

Both in her patient care role and in her responsibilities in providing clinical supervision of staff, Dr. Little is deeply involved in patient experience. She has received firsthand feedback on the challenges and opportunities synonymous with patient experience/customer service from all constituents, including:  patients, families, referral sources and internal staff.

Inspired by Lindner Center of HOPE’s commitment to excellence and empathy in all facets of the organization’s performance, Dr. Little offered to help invent a unique approach to patient experience utilizing tenants very familiar to many in the mental health field and common in the treatment of mental illnesses.

A specially-trained provider in the implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Dr. Little has an exceptional grasp on the varied applications of this therapeutic intervention that can help improve mood, thinking and behaviors. A core treatment at Lindner Center of HOPE, Dr. Little seized the opportunity to integrate the principles of DBT into customer service training for the entire Lindner Center of HOPE staff.

DBT goes beyond traditional therapies that focus exclusively on the change process and incorporates Eastern traditions to help ease emotional suffering with acceptance for things that cannot change. Building on that knowledge, Dr. Little constructed an innovative customer service training. A first of its kind, the training applies DBT “language”, one with which many Lindner Center of HOPE staff are familiar, and applies it to the language focusing on customer service. The training was designed not only to help patients have positive experiences, but also to help empower the employee to feel better prepared and more confident in dealing with stressful customer service situations.

The training reviews the three Es of customer service:  excellence, empathy, and expectations in an interactive presentation with skills development and discussion.

Dr. Little went above and beyond her responsibilities to address a need in a creative and customized way. She had a vision for utilizing a dialectical framework in understanding excellent customer service and took the initiative to be the architect of a brand new training model. The model considers:  if the focus is only on the viewpoint of the customer, employees feel frustrated and burned out. If the focus is only on the viewpoint of the employee, then the customer is more resistant and feels unheard. The dialectical framework means that even if both viewpoints on the surface appear different, they can both be true. This theme brings staff and customers closer together.

Dr. Little is a Health Care Hero for her innovative approach to improving patient experience. A specially -trained Dialectical Behavior Therapy expert, she recognized the benefit of applying the therapy’s skills and tenants to patient experience.

This inventive take on patient experience training is anticipated to have a significant impact, not only on patient satisfaction, but on employee satisfaction.

Dr. Little is a trailblazer in patient experience and thereby a Health Care Hero.