Healthcare leaders are finding that attention to the organization's culture is essential to effect meaningful patient experience improvement.
This article appears in the July/August 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Over the years, the healthcare industry has relied upon continuing medical education and training to enhance the knowledge and skills of clinicians and, ultimately, to improve clinical outcomes, but using such a disciplined approach to improve patient experience is relatively new for many organizations. As the relationship between clinical outcomes and patient experience has become more established, a growing number of patient experience programs have moved beyond focusing primarily on training nurses to also include physicians and a host of nonclinical staff who serve in a variety of front- and back-office roles.
Perhaps one of the more visible signs of the degree to which organizations are embracing patient experience is the increased presence of a chief experience officer (or individual with similar responsibilities) on the senior leadership team. This year, 40% of respondents say their organization has one, up from 30% last year, and another 10% say they will add such a position within the next three years. Having a dedicated C-suite executive driving an organization's patient experience effort is an important step toward solving one of the key challenges for healthcare organizations: How does one change the organizational culture such that patient experience excellence is embraced by all employees?