In response to the complexity of this undertaking, many providers have added a dedicated chief experience officer to their leadership team to help manage the organizational culture process.
According to the survey, 45% of respondents say that their organization has a chief experience officer or an individual with similar responsibilities. But while hiring such an executive is an important step in fostering a culture that embraces patient experience excellence, more is needed given the many challenges.
Sven Gierlinger is vice president and chief experience officer at Northwell Health, an integrated health system serving the greater New York area that includes 22 hospitals, 6,675 hospital and long-term care beds, and more than 550 outpatient facilities.
Gierlinger is also the lead advisor for this Intelligence Report. He points out that difficulty changing organizational culture also relates to the evolution of the healthcare industry to a more consumer-oriented model.
"I think that the healthcare industry hasn't looked at [the] patient as a customer like they have in other industries because payment is insurance-based. The patient is now becoming more of an educated consumer. For that type of culture, especially for an employee that has worked in healthcare for decades, it may be difficult shifting that perspective. Leaders of today must learn from and respect the past in order to move forward and adapt to an uncertain future."
Importance of Process Improvement Methodologies
Along with establishing leadership accountability through the appointment of a chief experience officer, the use of process improvement methodologies to enhance patient experience performance has also proven to be an effective strategy.
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.