Interestingly, achieving organizational culture change is typically driven by senior leadership, yet only 8% of respondents say that lack of leadership commitment is the biggest problem. Perhaps the answer may be found in the second-highest stumbling block: abundance of other priorities (27%). Note that the problem is not abundance of higher priorities (7%), an indication that healthcare organization CEOs must set the agenda to ensure culture change.
In addition to being a CEO responsibility, it would also make sense that changing organizational culture falls under a chief experience officer's purview. However, it's worth noting that the presence of a chief experience officer does not necessarily solve the issue of culture change.
In fact, 37% of organizations with a chief experience officer or an individual with similar responsibilities and 25% of those without one cite that as the biggest obstacle to creating an effective patient experience program. Perhaps having a chief experience officer on board enables greater recognition of the problem; but ultimately, it is up to the CEO to solve.
At Adventist Health System, Guler says that a strong organizational culture has been extremely important to the progress in patient experience. "Culture is critically important to experience. We haven't had as much of a challenge with that in our system, and we do recognize that employee engagement is critical to experience. We use Gallup for employee engagement and we're a top performer, but we're all on a journey and we all want to ensure the most engaged culture because that directly translates to the best patient experience.
"I have the privilege of overseeing patient experience for a very large system, with campuses of all sizes in a wide range of communities across the country, all committed to one mission. Each campus may be at a slightly different point in their journey with patient experience, and one of our primary goals is to meet those campuses where they are on their journey and continue to elevate and sustain all to a consistent experience across our system."
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.