Achieving a patient experience culture of excellence at healthcare organizations means having a dedicated chief experience officer to manage patient experience, and using process improvement methodologies such as Lean or Six Sigma.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Building a culture of patient experience excellence within a healthcare organization should be a relatively straightforward undertaking.
A strategy must be developed, resources and manpower allocated, and leadership responsibility assigned. Execution of the strategy should be a simple matter of following the strategic road map.
However, perfecting organizational culture in healthcare can be especially challenging. According to respondents in the 2017 HealthLeaders Media Patient Experience Survey, for example, difficulty changing organizational culture (31%) is the biggest stumbling block to creating an effective patient experience program at their organizations.
Part of the reason that transforming organizational culture within healthcare organizations is so difficult is their size and complexity: They are typically large institutions with a diverse range of professional and nonprofessional staff, representing a long list of departments and functions.
Further, patient care is increasingly taking place outside the four walls of hospitals and includes the full range of the continuum—primary care offices, ambulatory and outpatient locations, convenient care clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and home health providers—often placing it outside the reach of direct management control.
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.