The Southern District Health Board is turning to Air New
Zealand for help to improve its customer service.
Chief executive Carole Heatly revealed the initiative at a
hospital committee meeting in Invercargill this week.
Contacted after the meeting to elaborate on the move, Ms
Heatly responded briefly by email.
''Our senior nursing team are talking to Air New Zealand
based in Dunedin to come and give a talk at the hospital on
how Air New Zealand delivers excellent customer care.
"This is an opportunity to see how customer service training
takes place in another industry where, similar to ours,
safety is of paramount importance.''
The talk would be directed at nurses, clinical staff,
receptionists and other staff as necessary.
University of Otago health systems authority Prof Robin Gauld
approved of the move, saying the airline industry's potential
lessons for healthcare had generated immense interest.
As an example, he cited the World Health Organisation's
surgical safety checklist, which was based on airline safety
checks. As well as safety, the airline industry worked hard
to reduce waste, treat the public well, and encourage
harmonious relationships between staff.
These were all areas in which the healthcare sector could