Service Recovery

Academic Medical Centers are complex organizations with complex systems. Our goal is always service excellence; yet sometimes things go wrong that inconvenience our patients and their families or impact their satisfaction with the Vanderbilt experience. Service Recovery is the communication and action taken in response to making right what went wrong. It’s our apology and intentional rebuilding of positive feelings and satisfaction to maintain trust.

Service Recovery is an important practice to use with every customer, including our internal customers. Our shared successes rely on trust. When there are delays in responses, or something goes wrong because of lack of communication or inaccurate information, we may need to rebuild trust with that customer. Adapting Service Recovery techniques, we can actively recover the confidence of those who count on us.


HEARD is an acronym for:

  • H - Hear the patient/customer
  • E - Empathize
  • A - Acknowledge 
  • R - Respond to the problem 
  • D* - Deliver 

    (*Document or Delegate if additional action is needed the concern and specific steps taken to address the concern in VERITAS or with the office of Patient Relations. Thank for sharing concerns.

See HEARD poster for details.