|On the Road - Northwestern Memorial|
Regional Roundtable Overview
Patient Experience Planning and Collaborative Action for Improving Results
On the Road at The Beryl Institute Regional Roundtable Chicago
The latest On the Road took us to Chicago and to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, our host for the most recent Regional Roundtable from The Beryl Institute. Most often on our On the Road visits we spend time in a hospital or with a healthcare system learning about their patient experience journey in order to help others gain insight from their successes and challenges. For this issue, we will be sharing the stories that emerged and the learning generated in bringing together leaders from numerous organizations for an interactive dialogue on key patient experience issues.
The roundtable brought together healthcare executives and leaders committed to improving the patient experience for their organization, facility or system. This working event focused not only on creating valuable connections but also engaged participants in rolling up their sleeves and developing actionable plans they can implement in addressing patient experience issues.
The session began with an inspiring presentation from Liz Jazwiec, a former vice president of patient care and director of emergency services at Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago. Liz also authored the book Eat That Cookie and spoke passionately about the importance of workplace positivity in impacting the patient experience. In sharing her experiences in driving improvement, she challenged participants to consider how to create a positive workplace for all staff members.
She offered a number of significant considerations for healthcare leaders as she discussed the importance of accountability in healthcare organizations. One of her greatest lessons was that when she was not holding her own team accountable, she was actually stealing their success. The idea of accountability is not just accomplished through promises or checklists, but through the actual rigor of leaders in personally reinforcing expected behaviors and correcting misdirected action in the moment it happens. She suggested, "What you permit, you promote!” In support of this, Liz also reinforced the importance of recognition in ensuring accountability, adding, "What's recognized, gets replicated."
Liz then drove home the point that we need to reconsider our strategies for creating an engaged workforce. She offered the following thought, with all the effort to ensure staff manages what is expected of them, we cannot build our efforts on the idea that buy-in is a path to success. Rather in an environment of accountability, she shared, "Buy-in is not a strategy, it is a result.” The bottom line of creating and reinforcing accountability is buy-in, rather than it serving as a means to the end. This leads us back to the point Liz made that vigorously reinforcing accountability is where you can achieve the greatest outcomes.
Framed by the powerful lessons shared by Liz, the core of the workshop focused on a highly active dialogue among participants. The central purpose of the Regional Roundtable is to connect participants and engage in the creation of actionable plans on critical patient experience issues. To this end, the attendees reviewed a number of experience issues in the healthcare workplace and identified the top issues they face today in improving the patient experience. The central areas of discussion addressed a range of important topics. The topics selected also tell the story of where patient experience efforts are focusing today. They were:
Interestingly enough there seems to be a consistent theme emerging, with the topic of accountability, service culture and physicians also being highlighted as central points of focus in previous roundtable events as well. Once the topics were selected, participants split into four work groups to definine the issues and build action plans they could use when they returned to their organizations. The plans were reviewed with all participants for feedback and discussion. The outcomes shared clearly represented both the opportunities and challenges organizations are continuing to face in improving the patient experience.
What did we learn in exploring these topics?
While the Roundtable focused on the four topics identified by the participants, it remains clear as the dialogue represented that improving the patient experience requires a broader range of actions. One significant discovery across the discussions held among participants was the reinforcement of the need for a solid definition of the issue and its importance and the clear recognition that to ensure success there was a need for clear and sustained senior leadership support. The participants acknowledged that while these issues were selected as priorities, they were not distinct items, but part of a comprehensive and integrated effort to improve the patient experience overall.
The opportunity to share practices that improve patient care and the overall service experience is significant, and an often overlooked means for healthcare leaders to address critical issues. All too often the competition for market share or recognition trumps the opportunity for collaborative action that will significantly impact the patient experience for all who enter the healthcare system. A core commitment of The Beryl Institute will remain to provide the space for these important conversations and the sharing of ideas that will impact the patient experience overall.
The Chicago Regional Roundtable supports the critical conversation and represents the type of collaborative dialogue necessary to address the patient experience. The dialogue will continue this November in Orlando, hosted by Florida Hospital. Regional Roundtables provide the opportunity for real ideas to emerge that have been tried and tested in practice. They also allow for the pushing of boundaries in the thinking of how we can continue to improve patient experience. They bring practitioners together for a day to collaborate in the interest of improving the patient experience with the realization as one attendee stated, "we're all in this together.”