The well-cited African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” reinforces that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The villagers look out for children.
As a parent, I can’t agree with that more, and when I look back at my own childhood, I am reminded of the many people who encouraged and protected me – from teachers, neighbors and extended family to the nice sales clerk who helped me find my mom when I wandered off at Sears. It does take a village to raise a child.
It’s fair to say the village idea applies to most things in life and, as I am often reminded, that includes the patient experience. One of our earliest and most beloved videos at The Beryl Institute captured healthcare workers in many areas within a hospital environment – from medical labs, environmental services and radiology to admissions, pharmacy, spiritual care, volunteer services and more. After showing people in those areas performing parts of their work, the video came back to show each holding a sign with the hand-written message, ‘I am the Patient Experience.’
I believe the reason the video resonates with so many of us is that it reinforces we all contribute to delivering exceptional experiences. Every individual within the village of our healthcare organizations has the opportunity to help shape the experiences of patients and families. At the Institute, we love that healthcare organizations around the world have replicated the video with their own teams and use those videos to inspire, thank and connect with their staff and communities.
The African proverb can also be extended to the village that is our patient experience community at The Beryl Institute. In the nine years since we launched as a membership organization, thousands (literally, thousands) of you have committed time, energy and insights to help build this organization. It’s through the contributions of the village that the Institute has grown into the largest, independent community that builds the capacity of organizations to elevate the human experience in healthcare and develops individuals who impact experience excellence.
As a small organization (currently we have eleven full time team members), we rely greatly on the contributions of the community. We’re thankful to have volunteers consistently step up to share case studies, write guest blogs, and present webinars, topic calls or conference sessions. Over 80 organizations have invited us into their spaces to learn about their patient experience journeys and share the findings through our On the Road series, and dozens have opened their doors to host regional roundtable or Pop-up events. Over 400 individuals contributed to the Patient Experience Body of Knowledge.
In addition to content collaboration and events, our community steps up often to provide insights on new programs and processes through virtual focus groups or project teams. Members of our Nurse Executive, Pediatric and Physician Councils and Patient Advocacy Community help ensure our resources remain relevant to members in their specific areas. Over 70 individuals volunteer to advise us regularly through our various boards including the PX Advisory Board, Solutions Advisory Board, Global Patient and Family Advisory Board and Strategic Advisory Board. It takes a village.
As The Beryl Institute continues to help build, support and expand the Patient Experience movement, the needs and opportunities for community involvement will increase. Currently we are recruiting member volunteers to evaluate the 2020 PX Innovation nominations, join virtual focus groups to share insights on exciting new research projects and contribute thought leadership through our guest blog. We’re also accepting applications for members to join our PX Advisory Board which helps ensure we maintain a focus on the topics of greatest importance to healthcare leaders and have a finger on the pulse of the critical issues influencing patient experience efforts.
I encourage all members of the Institute to consider opportunities to lead and contribute. In doing so, you will not only impact the evolution of this critical field, you will also become further engaged in a community of individuals and organizations passionate about providing the best healthcare experiences for patients and families, those who work in healthcare and the communities they serve. After all, it takes a village.
Stacy Palmer, CPXP
Senior Vice President & COO
The Beryl Institute