Healthcare leaders focus on building organizational cultures based on patient experience excellence and strive to provide it across the care continuum.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Healthcare providers remain focused on building organizational cultures centered on patient experience excellence, using technology and an assortment of training programs to engage nurses, clinicians, care managers, and an expanding range of nonclinical and back-office staff in this mission.
However, having moved beyond simply training to meet the demands of HCAHPS, the patient experience movement is preparing for the next big challenge: providing patient experience excellence across the continuum.
To begin with, it is no easy task transforming organizational culture within healthcare organizations—they are generally large institutions with a diverse range of professional and nonprofessional staff, representing a long list of departments and functions.
Further complicating matters, patient care is increasingly taking place outside the four walls of hospitals, having migrated to myriad ambulatory and outpatient locations, convenient care clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and home health providers.
As the industry assumes greater responsibility for patient care across the continuum because of the move to population health, who will be responsible for maintaining patient experience quality and consistency?
For many healthcare organizations, the answer is hiring a dedicated C-suite executive to drive their patient experience effort.
In the 2016 HealthLeaders Media Patient Experience Survey, 46% of respondents say their organization has a chief experience officer or an individual with similar responsibilities, up from 40% in last year's survey and 30% the previous year.
Having a C-suite executive responsible for the organization's patient experience effort is a necessary step to successfully managing patient experience across the continuum.
Pam Guler, MHA, FACHE, CPXP, LSSMBB, is vice president and chief patient experience officer at Adventist Health System, a faith-based health system headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida, with locations across 10 states, and the lead advisor for this Intelligence Report.
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.