|Member Spotlight - October 2010|
OCTOBER 2010 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Guest Services Coordinator
WHAT ARE YOUR KEY RESPONSIBILITIES?
I recently transferred to Medical Center of Arlington from Medical City Dallas Hospital, a sister HCA facility, to frame and drive the Patient Experience Initiative. We will use HCAHPS scores as our main measurement tool, and I will be responsible to communicate these scores to Leadership and staff. As an example of MCA's dedication to improving the Patient Experience, PE initiatives will be led by an interdisciplinary team of staff members and leaders known as The PET (Patient Experience Team).
I am also involved in the complaint management system being used at MCA and will report regularly our performance in this area. On the horizon, we are planning staff focus groups to identify faced problem areas and capture ideas on material to be included in hospital-wide training, the training itself, and the development of a Patient and Family Collaborative Council to partner with our patients and their support individuals to gain a unique perspective on the delivery of care we provide and identify what matters most to our patients.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
Prior to joining MCA, I did a lot of work with patient experience efforts at Medical City. In an attempt to improve our Patient Loyalty key, we conducted staff training. While difficult to coordinate, its completion was incredibly rewarding to me. In the end, 2800 employees participated multiple 3-hour sessions led by 25 teams of facilitators. I am proud of the team of trainers I worked with and am heartened by the level of enthusiasm shown by so many staff members.
In 2009, I was provided an opportunity to conduct similar training sessions for the National Guard Health Affairs hospital system in Saudi Arabia. In a month, I visited 4 hospitals across the country where I led discussions surrounding the patient experience, facilitated train-the-trainer sessions, and was witness to something quite unique – that regardless of borders, cultures, or religious affiliations, patients are patients the world over. Pain is pain; comfort is comfort. And, all patients have a deep desire and need for healthcare team members to provide ease of mind in their effort to heal the body.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?
I am impressed with MCA's commitment to ensuring a positive patient experience. It is one of the reasons that drew me here. This provides a wonderful opportunity to address various barriers that may stand in the way of providing a consistent positive patient experience. One of the biggest challenges I see moving forward would be prioritizing the initiatives to ensure that we are advancing the most effective ones, first. Too many times, organizations unsuccessfully try various tactics to improve the patient experience without fully understanding their impact.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS OF THE FUTURE IN ADDRESSING PATIENT EXPERIENCE?
With the increasing attention given to this aspect of care by the government and consumers, healthcare providers must only pursue effectual programs. With no time to waste on flavor-of-the-month endeavors, I believe providers will steer their efforts to initiatives that most match their individual organizational needs and the needs of their specific patient populations. Industry –Wide, we will see a more focused approach to Patient and Family Centered Care practices, an increase in the interest and development of patient advisory boards, and a shift in paradigm regarding the view of the whole patient experience –from before our front door to after they get back to theirs. I am encouraged by MCA’s determined approach to aggressively assess our patient’s needs.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT FOCUSING ON THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE?
I try to keep up with my kids. Both of my sons play football – my older son, Andrew, is a Senior at Keller High School and the running back for their varsity team, and my younger boy, Zachary, plays running back for a youth program in Keller, Texas. Yeah, I'm a bit biased but both boys are remarkable strong young men, and I'm very proud of them. I wasn't a football player growing up, but as an adult I am a cyclist and have run a few marathons. Something of a daredevil (or an idiot), I also enjoy skydiving.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE BERYL INSTITUTE?
I am encouraged to know that there are many people in the industry focusing on the concept of the Patient Experience and how it is they can effect change in the healthcare environment to better serve all patients. The Beryl Institute offers a unique forum to receive information, to share successes, and to interact with other individuals faced with similar barriers in the effort to improve patient care. My participation with The Beryl Institute and the various members has deepened my understanding of the challenges facing this aspect of healthcare as well as provide meaningful discussion in finding resolutions.