Creating Your Patient Experience Program: Where to Begin

Posted on December 27, 2012. Filed under: Communication, HCAHPS, Patient Experience, Post By Christy Whipple |

Christy Whipple

“…Weave The Patient Experience into the very fabric of your organization’s culture.”

building-a-planThere are plenty of ways to make patient experience more than just another initiative, according to a recent article in HealthLeaders Media. “..To weave it into the very fabric of your organization’s culture, and ultimately to reap the rewards of a healthier bottom line and a reputation that people will talk about with anyone who will listen.”

Does Your Staff “Get It?”
The HealthLeaders article further states that about 95% of the hospitals are current with the latest buzzwords. When asked about ‘patient experience,’ they’ve got it. ‘Service excellence?’ They’ve got it. But Dr. Gnida asks, “Do they really? When we talk to managers who are writing action plans   or directors who are frustrated that they can’t move their scores or grow   their market, it turns out that they’re not really doing service excellence work, which is creating remarkable experiences. Usually they’re doing service   recovery work instead. I don’t want to denigrate service recovery, but it’s a whole other strategy-it’s not patient experience.”

Where Should You Begin?
How will you stay engaged and aligned? How will you know whether the activities are improving the patient experience? Start with a performance analysis accounting for the HCAHPS metrics. This can help an organization understand the current performance along each of these measurements. Deficiencies in any of these areas provide insight on areas to focus improvement efforts. These measures also provide a baseline and a framework for ongoing assessment of the organization’s progress.

Developing a Plan
An execution plan should mimic a road map. It should include the high level work plan, goals, projected timeline, estimated resources and additional support areas required to implement the road map. Throughout implementation and thereafter, the organization can return to the original analysis metrics to assess its performance. This analysis will provide ongoing guidance for prioritizing the activities that may have a significant impact on the Patient’s Experience.

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