In just two
weeks, hundreds of healthcare leaders, resource providers, patients and family
members from around the world will gather together at Patient Experience
Conference 2013. This annual gathering continues to amaze
me, for while I get to take part in the organization and preparation with an
incredible team of planners and volunteers, what happens during these days
together is still, in many ways, a surprise.
Why is that,
you ask? It comes down to a simple philosophy we work hard to ensure permeates
our community at The Beryl Institute each and every day. With as many resources
as we continue to provide – from papers, to case studies, On the Road visits to research – and our commitment to be the global community of practice and premier thought leader on
improving the patient experience, we fundamentally believe the greatest power
in our community is the connection and sharing with one another. That is what
makes the annual gathering of patient experience leaders so powerful; it is
grounded in the learning from and connection with one another and provides a
new level of support for what many can feel at times may be a very lonely and
person, organization, provider or vendor "owns” the patient experience and they
should not claim to; rather it is ALL of the people who live it, struggle with
it, work to improve and yes experience it every day, who do. It is you who
truly are keepers of this movement. You are the patient experience. I see our job to create the space for this to happen, provide the
information from which you can learn and fundamentally encourage the
connections that will help all of us ultimately improve.
In my March
Patient Experience Blog, Why Community
Matters in Improving Patient Experience, I suggested, "…to provide a true experience, you must
think well beyond the physical nature of your facilities or practices to
recognize that experience resides in the network of people that surround and
are connected to your organization, both near and far.” I would suggest that in the call to action to address the patient experience we remember this fundamental
point. This is what also has me encourage people to get engaged, be part of the
community, contribute and learn from one another. It is why at the Institute we
have launched our Voices of the Patient
Experience series to start this year from the perspective of
executives, the front line, healthcare students and patients and family members
and why we are ensuring patients and family members can participate in
Conference 2013 (#patientsincluded).
I also share
these thoughts with a new perspective on this passion, from that of a patient and
family member myself. Personal experience has led me to spend time (and as
someone committed to patient experience, observe the experience) in an
emergency department and primary care setting, and has blessed me with the
chance to encounter the preparation and expectation setting that happens with
both physician and hospital in anticipating the arrival of your first child.
These personal encounters have reminded me that each and every one of us
committed to this work are also (or will be) that patient or family member.
I share all
of this to reiterate my central point, if we are committed to improving patient
experience, to ensuring all voices are heard, to providing the best in quality,
safety and service, then the opportunity we have and must take advantage of is
to tackle this not alone, but as a true global community. Whether in person at
Patient Experience Conference, on a call or via an electronic network, the
impact that we can have is only heightened through our connections. I encourage
your engagement and I urge your sharing. This is an effort worth every moment
we spend. I most look forward to all that will still emerge as a surprise!
Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D.
The Beryl Institute