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An Orientation to Experience

Posted By Tiffany Christensen, CPXP, Monday, October 14, 2019

Some people will look at this picture and see a duck. Some will see a rabbit. The trick is that both are correct. The difference is how you are oriented to the picture. This is exactly the same in healthcare; we must always ask ourselves “How am I oriented?” (The duck-rabbit drawing was first used by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899)

At every moment of every healthcare interaction, there are two orientations at work: one of operationalizing experience and one of the personal experience of health/healthcare. Being oriented to operationalizing experience means you are thinking about things like whether or not:

  • The patient is being listened to by those caring for them and the organization as a whole
  • The patient/family is being spoken to in a way they can understand
  • The patient/family can easily find their way around the facility

Being oriented to the personal experience of health/healthcare may sound something like this:

  • “I am so tired and that walk from the parking lot was long. Will I have the energy after this appointment to make it back to my car?”
  • “What is that pain in my side? That wasn’t there yesterday. What does that mean? Is it worth mentioning it?”
  • “My dog is home alone. If they don’t finish tis appointment soon, I will need to just walk out.”

At some points along the way, these orientations compliment one another while, at other times, these dynamics appear to be completely discordant. The reality is that, either way, these dynamics can and MUST coexist. It is up to the healthcare professional to remain aware of how they are oriented—to operationalizing or to the personal experience--because both of these orientations are always present and are always appropriate.

To this end, The Beryl Institute is happy to share an extended version of The Experience Framework. The framework was built with the primary intention to help organize the areas of focus in examining and designing experience efforts. This, of course, is oriented to operationalizing experience.

The Beryl Institute’s Global Patient and Family Advisory Council has taken this framework and added the “personal experience of healthcare” orientation. We are excited to share this work as a companion to the “why” statements associated with The Experience Framework:

 

This is a great example of how ensuring any experience effort includes the sightline of those receiving care can provide balance and deeper meaning. When we orient ourselves to only one perspective, the rabbit or the duck, if you will, we may find ourselves missing out on meaningful perspectives that we need to inform and guide both organizations and individual interactions. We are so grateful to our Global Patient and Family Advisory Board for months of hard work that led to these illuminating statements regarding how each lens is EXPERIENCED by those receiving care.

We look forward to hearing from our community how they utilize this personal experience perceptive when operationalizing experience efforts! And, the next time you are working with a patient or designing the next experience/safety/quality improvement, ask yourself “how am I oriented?”

 

Tiffany Christensen, CPXP
Vice President, Experience Innovation
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  experience  global patient family advisory council  healthcare  orient 

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