In the last few weeks, I have been fortunate to join in a number of in-person conversations on patient experience improvement. From the gathering of patient advocates and experience champions in South Carolina, for the newly named Carolina Advocates for Patient Experience annual conference, to the impressive Patient Experience Summit put on by Dignity Health in Phoenix, that brought together over 650 front line caregivers and executive leaders in learning and dialogue on how to continue to their system’s trajectory to patient experience excellence. I also recently shared my experience with Value Health Partner’s collaborative dialogue in Michigan, bringing together peer organization’s to share ideas and address performance.
These gatherings and many others reinforce a simple, but important point. The conversation on patient experience improvement cannot and should not happen in isolation, but in dialogue with others across facility and organizational boundaries, and I would offer national boundaries as well.
I have come to see and strongly believe in two keys to patient experience excellence over the last few years on this journey. One, that there are ultimately no secrets in doing what is not only right for patients, families and our own teams, but also what is best for all involved. And two, answers to excellence in patient experience for you or your organization are not discovered in isolation, but rather in conversation with others. Then, as I have stressed on many occasions, the distinguishing factor is a willingness to do something about it – to commit, to execute, to follow-through and to measure your progress – all the while recognizing experience is not an initiative to accomplish, but an ongoing effort to ensure the best in quality, safety and service outcomes for all.
It is on this very premise that our work at The Beryl Institute has been built – that in convening people working to address this issue, to share successes and challenges, to reveal practices and co-create new ideas is fundamental to experience excellence. It fact it should, and must, sit at the very core of this movement. For this very reason we have built a highly interactive virtual network for our membership community, but more so strive to bring together people together regionally and globally for this very purpose.
In the coming month, starting this week in Boston, we will hold two Regional Roundtables. These events are built on the foundation of creating connection and learning from one another. Our focus on in-person connection is anchored on Patient Experience Conference, the largest annual independent, non-vendor or provider related, gathering of patient experience professionals, healthcare leaders, patient and family members and resource providers. Providing structured means for networking and sharing can only lead us to better overall experience for all in our healthcare systems around the world.
This might seem like a simple idea, but it is not always easy, so I’d like to encourage and maybe even challenge you to think about who you can connect with to engage in this dialogue. Some thoughts in taking advantage of the opportunities for excellence include:
- Bring together individuals within your system to share ideas and practices. These can be small informal local or regional groups or larger system-wide gatherings.
- Reach out to peer organizations regionally or globally. For example, peers in academic medical centers, rural healthcare clinics, long-term care residential facilities or children’s hospitals can connect virtually to explore and share patient experience ideas
- Create local networks. Consider connecting with others in your city, county, province or geographic region (such as exemplified by the Value Health Partner’s example above) to connect in person and showcase practices and lessons learned. While competing for volume and excellence in patient experience can be a market differentiator, the ideas and practices you share will only ensure all are improving at this critical effort.
- Engage in The Beryl Institute. I would be remiss not to extend our warmest welcome, invitation and encouragement to connect with peers around the world in the continuously growing dialogue on patient experience improvement in the Institute (and consider an Institutional Membership to involve all in your organization).
All of these ideas do not cost much but time, and require the willingness of one or two individuals to step up, and invite others to engage in this important discussion. I am encouraged by the rapidly growing conversation on patient experience excellence and remain convinced that no one organization, vendor, consultant or otherwise should espouse or claim to have all the answers. But you, in connection with your peers very well may have many of the answer you seek, if you choose to do so together. We at the Institute remain committed to creating this environment, where you can both share and learn as we continue to serve as a hub for many other conversations that are, and can be happening, as we ensure the best in experience for all we serve. The next step is yours.
Jason A. Wolf
The Beryl Institute