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The Beryl Institute Patient Experience Blog
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The Spirit of the PX Movement – Sharing, Learning and Improving Together

Posted By Stacy Palmer, Monday, December 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, December 12, 2016

After six years as a membership community focused on improving patient experience, we continue to be amazed and inspired by the generosity of our members and guests committed to this movement. The spirit of this work is illustrated perfectly by the willingness to share, learn and grow together.

Just last week we released a great example of this in action through the white paper, Guiding Principles for Patient Experience Excellence. We’re careful to always acknowledge there is no one recipe for improving patient experience, but we have identified eight themes consistent in organizations who have found success in this work. The paper shares those principles, reflects on why each is a critical consideration and, perhaps most importantly, highlights specific examples from 15 organizations who excel in one or more of these areas.

As in all the work shared through the Institute, the examples represent only a sample of the many approaches that could be tied to each principle. They are offered to spark thinking in ways others can move from concept to action. It’s the willingness of these organizations to share their successes that fuels that thinking for others.

The gifting of knowledge and experiences has helped to build the field of patient experience and establishes both credibility and accountability for our efforts. This year our sister organization, Patient Experience Institute, recognized the first three classes of Certified Patient Experience Professionals (CPXPs), an incredible statement and stride for the movement. We continue to see this work validated and see our community eager to spread the word on the importance of addressing experience excellence and sharing successes and challenges encountered along the way.

We wholeheartedly offer thanks to every individual and organization who contributed to this work over the past year. Thank you for every case study shared, On the Road visit or regional roundtable hosted, webinar or conference session presented, ListServ email sent, topic call or connection call attended and learning bite delivered. It’s through these and other collective efforts that we can truly shape this movement and positively impact the experiences of patients, families and caregivers.

Interested in learning more about how you can personally contribute to the community in 2017? Visit http://www.theberylinstitute.org/?page=CONNECTIONIDEAS.

 

Stacy Palmer, CPXP
Senior Vice President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  accountability  collaboration  community  community of practice  engagement  Field of Patient Experience  healthcare  improving patient experience  networking  patient experience  thought leadership 

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Pokémon Go…or No?

Posted By Michelle Garrison, CPXP, Thursday, September 8, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

As a patient experience community our members and guests are consistently seeking ways to engage and support the patients and families they serve, and the use of technology including personal health tracking apps, wearable devices and gaming through mobile devices can play an important role in contributing to a positive hospital experience by providing an opportunity to promote not only exercise but also social interaction.

By now, many of you have heard about Pokémon Go and may even be playing it yourselves. For those of you who might not know, Pokémon Go is an app where players can explore their surroundings and search for Pokémon creatures. There are also “Pokestops,” where you can collect items that you use in the game and gyms, where you battle for control against other players. Not sure if your hospital has Pokémon? If you have an interesting or unique art piece somewhere in your hospital, chances are it’s a “hot spot.”

Pokémon Go can provide an opportunity to positively affect the patient experience in a variety of ways. Some hospitals are using the app as a way to encourage their patients to get out of bed and be more mobile. Others have reported that patients have attributed weight loss to their use of the game. In order to catch Pokémon, you have to find them and that means going to different places and walking around. The game actively encourages walking by rewarding you when you hit milestones.

When you see patients or family members interested or actively involved, it is an another opportunity to make a connection with them. Just imagine how this could impact someone and possibly take their mind off of their next procedure even for a brief moment as well as foster a connection for the next time you walk in the room. One patient experience leader shared with me a recent experience she had.

What an AMAZING opportunity for patients, siblings and families to experience during a hospital stay or long clinic day!  Something truly special that they can readily access while others cannot. I personally spoke with a father who was playing with his son. I asked whether they were playing Pokémon Go.  They responded yes, and then, with great excitement, shared with me that our hospital was a “hot spot.”  Dad paused and said, “My daughter is upstairs (in a hospital room).  She cannot leave the room yet, but she’s been able to use her phone and play the game from her bed.”  He said they were thankful that she and her siblings could all enjoy the game.

There are downsides though, with the game having unexpected impact on hospitals’ daily operation. Hospitals are reporting more visitors, in particular unsupervised teens coming in to play the game. As well as there are concerns around increased traffic in areas of hospitals, including, front entrances, Emergency Departments and even near Critical Care Units. This leads to privacy and security issues. In a hospital, this can raise issues of patient confidentiality with gamers entering areas of hospitals where they might inadvertently have access to sensitive patient information. There are also safety concerns. Besides players wandering into restricted areas where they themselves could be injured, there is also an increased risk of infection due to germ exposure.

Some hospitals are moving forward and requesting that their facilities be removed from the game. Many are putting signs up asking people to be respectful of patients’ privacy and reminding them that hospitals are a place where people come to heal and not a gaming area. Others have alerted staff and asked them to report to security anyone they see playing.

While they are negatives that must be addressed and managed, there are benefits. As long as it is managed in a way that is safe for patients, staff and the community, there are opportunities to use the game in a way to impact the patient experience in a positive and meaningful way. In healthcare, we strive to provide opportunities to provide the best experience for our patients and family members. Technology and gaming apps can help with this, providing a way to interact with patients, motivate them and get them active. As your patients are trying to “catch ‘em all,” it could also make the hospital a little less scary place for them to be.

As we have seen, new technologies are consistently playing an important role in improving interactions and engagement with patients and family members. We would love to more about how not only this game but other technologies have impacted you and your organization in improving the experience for your patients, family members, staff and the overall community. What new technologies have helped you engage with patients and family members and how? What benefits and challenges have you seen from implementing new technologies?

Michelle Garrison
Director, Member Experience
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  interactions  patient engagement  patient experience  Pokemon Go  technology 

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“#Hellomyname is”: An idea at the heart of the experience movement

Posted By Jason Wolf, Monday, August 1, 2016
Updated: Friday, July 29, 2016

Just over a week ago the world lost a powerful advocate for our humanity. While Dr. Kate Granger, a physician turned patient advocate due to her own healthcare experiences may have left us physically, she will be forever present through a powerful legacy that rests at the heart of the patient experience movement. 

I never had the honor to personally know Kate, but in what she accomplished with the golden minutes of life she maintained, I felt I have met her fully. If we believe our efforts in healthcare are grounded in the simple notion that we are human beings caring for human beings our lenses shift. We move from a notion of clinical protocol or programed action, to personal consideration, understanding and partnership.

At the heart of this idea is that in healthcare all of the moments we have – clinically or otherwise – take place at a point of interaction. It is at this point of interaction where experience happens. We are not nameless providers of care interacting with a diagnosis or room number, rather all that exists is a connection, one person to another.

As people, whether on the delivery or the receiving side of healthcare across settings, each and every one of us is an individual with a story, a heart, a soul, memories, dreams, hopes, fears and a name. Perhaps it is the latter, that I am person with a name, that serves as the frame for all of this. That is the legacy that Kate is leaving us.

Kate inspired an idea that exemplifies the fundamental simplicity behind ensuring the best in experience. For in our simple actions, we can have the most profound impact. Kate’s realization through her experiences on the other side of the bed were that we all too often missed one another as people, we didn't share who we were, we didn't share our name. As Kate revealed in an interview on her own experience, she was not treated as a person, but rather an object to be treated, stating, “I just couldn’t believe the impersonal nature of care and how people seemed to be hiding behind their anonymity.”

This led to a powerful idea and an emerging movement - #hellomynameis. This concept now used by hundreds of thousands of people globally was grounded in a simple concept. As Kate shared via her site, the purpose of #hellomynameis is “to encourage and remind healthcare staff about the importance of introductions in healthcare. I firmly believe it is not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper. Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. They begin therapeutic relationships and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances. In my mind #hellomynameis is the first rung on the ladder to providing truly person-centred, compassionate care.

These words define the profound power of this idea and the importance of this legacy. If we are to remain true to the foundation on which healthcare has been built – on care, on connection, on healing the whole person and on the compassion it takes – this is an idea we cannot ignore. It is who we are in healthcare and reminds us of and supports us in being all we aspire to be. This idea personifies all I have seen as good, right and true as I have traveled around the healthcare world in search of experience excellence. So while Kate may no longer walk with us, we can carry her heart and spirit in every interaction we look to have and for the very hope that each of us has for the greatest healthcare can be. We must carry on this legacy and I encourage each and every one of you to engage in this cause. #Hellomynameis Jason and I, like you, am the patient experience. Join me!

To learn more about Kate and her effort, here are a few valuable links:

Hellomynameis.org
Hello, my name is Kate Granger
BMJ – Kate Granger
Globe and Mail – Andre Picard - Remembering Kate Granger, a champion of human connection

 

Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D.
President
The Beryl Institute 

 

Tags:  #Hellomynameis  defining patient experience  global healthcare  improving patient experience  Kate Granger  patient engagement  Patient Experience  patient stories  storytelling  voice 

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Supporting the Expanding Field of Patient Experience

Posted By Stacy Palmer, Thursday, June 9, 2016
Updated: Thursday, June 9, 2016

This week we opened the call for submissions for Patient Experience Conference 2017. It will mark the seventh official year for this event, the annual gathering bringing together the collective voices of healthcare professionals and patients/families across the globe to convene, engage in and expand the dialogue on improving patient experience. 

Each year we’ve seen significant increases is conference participation, with almost 1,000 people gathering in Dallas this past April to share, learn and network with one another. Similarly The Beryl Institute community itself continues to grow, now made up of over 45,000 members and guests from 55 countries. We believe this growth signifies the expansion of the patient experience movement. Leaders are realizing a focus on experience is a necessity for survival in the ever-changing healthcare environment.

We’ve watched the field develop with some organizations now appointing Chief Experience Officers to guide efforts and strategy. Patient Experience Institute, a sister organization of The Beryl Institute, has established a formal designation for Certified Patient Experience Professionals – and over 140 organizations now have one or more CPXPs on staff. Hundreds of individuals are expanding their professional development through the PX Body of Knowledge certificate programs. And Patient Experience Week was established to celebrate those who positively impact experience every day. 

Without a doubt, the field of patient experience is expanding.

This expansion continues to change the dynamics of The Beryl Institute Community. When we began as a membership organization in late 2010, most of our members were just getting started on their patient experience journeys. They were incredibly willing to share the successes and struggles along the way – which led to the abundance of community-developed content that exists and continues to grow today.

While we’ll always offer resources, support and encouragement to those beginning their efforts, we must continue to elevate the conversation to also support those further along on their journeys. Many of you are now looking to the community for information on how you can take things to the next level. How do you sustain your programs? What can you do to develop deeper engagement opportunities with patients and family members? How can you bring down silos that exist within your organization? How do you integrate social media into experience efforts?

The expansion of the field and our commitment to provide the breadth and levels of content needed to support the community led us to a significant change in the conference call for submissions process for 2017. As you complete the submission form for a standard breakout, mini session or poster – and we invite you to consider doing so – you’ll be asked to identify the development stage for your content, specifically your submission is ideal for individuals with:

  • Minimal knowledge and experience. Looking for some basic information, key principles and "how to’s” on the subject.
  • Working knowledge and some proven experience. Looking for breath or depth in the subject, how to sustain and engage others and/or dealing with resistance to change on the subject. 
  • Authoritative knowledge and proven success. Looking for advanced knowledge and examples to evolve their understanding and practice on the subject. 

This is the scale our Learning and Professional Development team considers regularly as they develop content for our webinars, topic calls and other resources, and we're excited to now apply this process to Patient Experience Conference. This information will guide our volunteer reviewers and conference planning committee to develop a well-balanced program that meets the needs of participants at all levels. We’ll identify sessions as beginning, intermediate or advanced so you can make the most-informed choices on what sessions you will attend to customize your learning experience. 

It’s important to acknowledge, however, that levels of learning can be both subjective and cyclical. Organizations who once excelled at certain facets of patient experience may find themselves slipping in that area over time and in need of a basic refresher. And organizations just beginning a patient experience journey might have certain areas in which they already perform well ahead of the curve. There will always be a need to support all levels of development and we are committed to sharing that breadth of resources.  We thank you in advance for your contributions to the community. Sharing your story and knowledge truly represents the core idea that we are ALL the Patient Experience!


Stacy Palmer
Vice President, Strategy and Member Experience 
The Beryl Institute
 

Tags:  collaboration  commitment  community  community of practice  engagement  Field of Patient Experience  global healthcare  healthcare  improving patient experience  patient  patient engagement  Patient Experience  Patient Experience Conference  service excellence 

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Reflecting on the Field of Patient Experience

Posted By Deanna Frings, Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion on the topic of talent and the patient experience at an event for healthcare human resource professionals.  The event says so much about how far we have come in our understanding of what it takes to support patient experience excellence and this emerging field.  Preparing for this event gave me the opportunity to step back and reflect on the field of patient experience. 

Prior to joining the team at The Beryl Institute, I was a member of this global community of practice and attended the PX Conference in 2012.  It was here that I first heard about the Patient Experience Body of Knowledge, a framework of 15 broadly accepted domains reflecting the knowledge and skills of a patient experience professional.  

As I sat listening to the details of the framework and how it came to be, I was thrilled not only because over 400 individuals from 10 countries contributed to its development but it was the first time I began thinking about what I did as a growing profession, a field of practice and an emerging field.  I had something concrete to take back to my own organization that so clearly framed this field of patient experience and defined its core ideas.  

You see, my entry into patient experience started like many across the country.  I was asked to be part of a committee within my health system charged with implementing tactics that would improve our patient satisfaction scores.  Over the next several years, that committee membership evolved to a dedicated role as the Director of Patient and Family Relations leading the organization’s efforts on building a culture of experience excellence.  Our journey was very similar to others as evidenced in the findings of The State of the Patient Experience 2015 Study showing a growing acknowledgement from senior executives on the importance of investing resources dedicated to patient experience leaders. 

Fast forwarding to late spring 2014, I had been in my role with The Beryl Institute as the Director of Learning & Professional Development for one year and we had launched the first five PX Body of Knowledge courses.  In 2015, we achieved a major milestone when all 15 courses became available, one for each domain.   It was the first time a comprehensive program was available supporting professional development of healthcare leaders in the field of patient experience. 

We have since awarded a total of over 60 Certificates in Patient Experience Leadership and Patient Advocacy and there are over 250 currently completing the PX Body of Knowledge courses.  Not only do these numbers show the high level of interest patient experience professionals have in developing their knowledge and skills but they show again the acknowledgement by senior executives of the critical role of leadership in achieving patient experience excellence.

As I come to a close with my reflections, I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible work at our sister organization, Patient Experience Institute.  Following a rigorous and standardized process and involving hundreds of members of the global patient experience community, the first inaugural Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP) exam was launched this past December. Achievement of CPXP certification highlights a commitment to the profession and to maintaining current skills and knowledge in supporting and expanding the field of patient experience and demonstrates clear qualifications to senior leaders, colleagues, and the industry. 

It’s always nice to reflect back as a means to identify the progress made. We know patient experience matters, it continues to be a top priority and there is a growing acknowledgement of the critical need and value for dedicated patient experience leaders.  And to that end, we must all take action in shaping the future field of patient experience.

  1. There is a recognized need for individuals with the knowledge and skills to lead patient experience efforts.  Use the PX Body of Knowledge framework to assess your professional development needs and build a plan to advance your knowledge and skills.
  2. Everyone plays an important role in the patient experience.  Share the framework with your Human Resource partners and work with them integrating the patient experience leadership competencies as part of an overall talent management strategy.
  3. Senior Leaders recognize that leadership is a strategic asset.  Be a role model and distinguish yourself as a leader in today’s healthcare marketplace.  Work within your organization's advocating and in supporting all healthcare leaders have the skills and knowledge critical to ensure the best experiences for your patients, their families and your employees positioning your organization to drive the best in outcomes for all you serve.  

As the journey continues, I’m excited about the future.  I encourage each of you to be part of the ongoing conversation sharing your ideas on how to support, educate and influence the many leaders across all functions within your organization.  I know I'm looking forward to the conversation next week with healthcare human resource professionals as they explore their role in ensuring an excellent experience for all.

Deanna Frings
Director, Learning and Professional Development
The Beryl Institute

 

Tags:  community  community of practice  employee engagement  engagement  healthcare  improving patient experience  Leadership  Patient Experience  service excellence 

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When the Patient Experience becomes more Personal

Posted By Stacy Palmer, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We have an incredibly passionate community at The Beryl Institute. I know for many that passion has been fueled by personal experiences that drove them to be part of this work. Others have been inspired to join the patient experience movement to spread what they believe is the right thing to do for those we serve. And sometimes while doing this work they have encountered their own life experiences, whether small bumps in the road or larger life-changing events, that reinforced the importance of patient experience and provided new perspective to guide their efforts.

Last year I experienced this firsthand when my daughter, Maya, dislocated and fractured her elbow while cheerleading. She had an emergency reduction surgery the night of the accident to put her elbow back in place and a second surgery a few days later to insert a screw to correct the fracture. All went well, but they decided to keep her overnight to help control her pain and that one night provided an incredible opportunity for reflection and perspective for me as a person who has built a career in patient experience. 

While I work everyday to share stories and practices of how our community works to improve the healthcare experience, I’ve been fortunate to have very few patient or family experiences myself. It’s amazing how your perspective intensifies when you’re sitting inside a hospital room observing the care of a loved one.

A few ideas were reinforced for me that night and, as simple as they are, I believe they are important considerations as we address overall experience.

  • Patients (and those who love and care for them) are incredibly vulnerable in a healthcare setting. Maya and I are pretty confident in our regular routines, but we were a bit clueless at the hospital – even with simple things such as ordering meals and turning on the TV. More significantly, we were at the hands of the staff to know what medicines she should have, if her body was reacting as it should to the surgery and how to best control the pain. We had to trust the healthcare team. As a children’s hospital, I must acknowledge they had several things in place that helped Maya feel more comfortable. Volunteers brought her a stuffed lamb and they let her select from a fun collection of super soft blankets to use while there that she could also take home. The hospital even had a Build-a-Bear Workshop on site, which I believe was the key motivator in getting her walking around post-surgery. Any steps, however large or small, an organization can to take to comfort and ease the feeling of vulnerability can have a significant impact.  
  • Healthcare workers are human. I think people often place doctors and nurses on pedestals in their minds assuming they should have perfect accuracy, bedside manners and responsiveness. While Maya had some great people caring for her, I was quickly reminded they were human. They had varied levels of experience, focus and relationship skills. As humans they also had their own lives that did have an impact on how they cared for my daughter – maybe stresses at home, conflict with co-workers or even their own health challenges. Regardless of how dedicated and professional, humans make mistakes. I came to appreciate all the checks and balances they implemented to help prevent that. At first I was a little disturbed by the redundant questions like “What is your name? Birthday? Any allergies?” But as I reminded myself the staff were each caring for multiple patients, I learned to appreciate their diligence to make sure everything matched up. I encourage healthcare workers to explain the needs for these steps to patients as this goes a long way in giving them confidence in their healthcare team.
  • Patients need advocates. The vulnerability and realization that the staff treating Maya were human reinforced a point that sometimes gets overlooked in healthcare – the important role of the caregiver. A few years ago a co-worker’s husband was in the hospital and she refused to leave his side. As much as she respected the healthcare team caring for him, she realized no one had his best interest at heart as much as she did. She was there to be sure they gave him the right medicines, at the right times and in the right amounts. She kept a journal of his condition and symptoms to share with the doctor, and she was there to be sure he ate, had food choices he liked and any assistance he needed. After being in the hospital with Maya for just one night, I understood her point completely, and not just because Maya was 11. The caregiver can play a vital role in helping ensure quality, safety and experience are what they should be in all care settings.

Maya was lucky that her hospital stay was short and she was quickly on the road to recovery. Being with her that night enriched my perspective and purpose, both as a mom caring for a child and as a professional committed to help make the healthcare experience the best it can be for everyone.

We are currently working on a white paper at the Institute that will share the stories of many patient experience leaders who, in the face of a personal health experience – however large or small, shifted their perspective from PX leader to patient or patient’s family member. If you are willing to share your story, we encourage you to participate in this project. 

Stacy Palmer
Vice President, Strategy and Member Experience
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  choice  community  engagement  Field of Patient Experience  improving patient experience  patient  patient and family  patient engagement  Patient Experience  perception  service excellence  voice 

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How Will You Invest in Patient Experience in 2016?

Posted By Stacy Palmer, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We recently celebrated our first five years as a community of practice and looked back, somewhat in awe, at the incredible growth of this organization over such a short time. The Beryl Institute is now a global community of almost 40,000 individuals passionate about improving the healthcare experience for patients, families and caregivers.

The momentum continues, as does the realization that organizations are making significant investments in time, energy and dollars to ensure they are prepared to deliver the best possible patient experience. We see these investments in many forms from hiring teams to training leaders and staff to building and supporting cultures of excellence.

As we shared in the 2015 State of Patient Experience Benchmarking study, senior patient experience leadership and staff investment is growing with 42% of respondents having a Chief Experience Officer (or comparable position) compared to only 22% two years ago.  Along with that, the size of patient experience teams is growing; 33% of organizations reported having five or more staff members supporting patient experience efforts. 

The Beryl Institute community reflects this trend as well. This year over 200 organizations will invest in institutional membership – meaning they provide unlimited access to the Institute’s white papers, webinars, topic calls, learning bites, etc. to everyone within their facility. They are making a statement that people in ALL roles impact the patient experience and should have access to research and collaboration that will assist their efforts.

We have also seen tremendous interest in learning and professional development programs intended to train patient experience leaders and other staff. We recently increased our virtual classroom offerings in the Patient Experience Body of Knowledge courses to support growing participation in the community-developed program that provides Certificates in Patient Experience Leadership and Patient Advocacy.

Patient Experience Conference had its largest attendance to date this year and we were honored to partner with member organizations to host sold out Regional Roundtable events in San Francisco, Charlotte and Minneapolis. Our community is eager to gain (and share) knowledge and to invest in their personal career growth. In fact, today our sister organization, Patient Experience Institute, will offer the first testing opportunity for those hoping to earn their CPXP, the professional certification for Patient Experience Leaders.

While we’re excited to celebrate the five-year milestone, we acknowledge how much work is still to be done. We imagine (and hope to help inspire) a world where all healthcare organizations appreciate the power and impact of patient experience efforts and make without hesitation the investments necessary to be the best they can be for patients and families.

Earlier this year we released Our Stand, a list of guiding principles we’ve identified in our five years of leading this work that can have significant impact on patient experience success. I share them again as a reminder as you evaluate your own efforts and consider what investment opportunities make sense to support your specific needs.

We believe organizations and systems committed to providing the best in experience WILL:

  • Identify and support accountable leadership with committed time and focused intent to shape and guide experience strategy
  • Establish and reinforce a strong, vibrant and positive organizational culture and all it comprises
  • Develop a formal definition for what experience is to their organization
  • Implement a defined process for continuous patient and family input and engagement
  • Engage all voices in driving comprehensive, systemic and lasting solutions
  • Look beyond clinical experience of care to all interactions and touch points
  • Focus on alignment across all segments of the continuum and the spaces in between
  • Encompass both a focus on healing and a commitment to well-being

As you prepare for the coming year I challenge you to reflect on your organization’s commitment to experience improvement. Where are you exceling and where are your opportunities to do even more for your patients, families, caregivers and staff? Our patient experience community is here to support your journey and I encourage you to take full advantage of the incredible resources and knowledge available. 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a successful New Year!

 

Stacy Palmer
Vice President, Strategy and Member Experience
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  body of knowledge  certification  collaboration  community of practice  Continuum of Care  culture  employee engagement  Field of Patient Experience  global healthcare  healthcare  improving patient experience  Interaction  Interactions  Leadership  Nurse Leadership  patient  patient engagement  Patient Experience  Patient Experience Conference  Regional Roundtable  service excellence 

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Reframing the Core Values for Patient Experience

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When we began the patient experience journey at The Beryl Institute just five years ago, we were surprised to find that in a healthcare landscape peppered with talk of patient centeredness and an expanding dialogue on patient engagement and grounded in the fundamental principles of quality and patient safety, there was not an overarching discussion on the broader experience of patients and families – beyond that is what was dubbed the patient experience of care. I believe we have from and through that time to today come to recognize that when we talk about experience – the healthcare experience – it encompasses all those ideas. We can also acknowledge that in its simplest of forms, patients, family members and loved ones and individuals serving as care providers or in support services all have an experience in healthcare every day – whether it is strategically planned or just left to fate.

For this reason, in our first steps at the Institute, we gathered a team of individuals to wrap our arms around what we meant in discussing the patient experience. From the contributions of many voices, we found a broad and encompassing idea. That patient experience is the sum of all interactions shaped by an organizations’ culture that influences patient perceptions across the continuum of care. The simplicity of these words was meant, and still does mean, to reflect much more. Experience is about interactions across the continuum, in the spaces in between, grounded in who we are as organizations in our actions and engagement with both those who encounter and work within them. Ultimately, it is about the partnership we establish with patients and the perceptions they take away. These are the lasting ripples of personal and quality care that represents the dimensionality of any human journey across the healthcare continuum today.

This need for definition was reinforced by the rapid focus on these core ideas in the experience conversation and was supported by an integrated and broad conversation on what the patient experience, and the healthcare experience, truly means today. In continuing to watch these ideas in action, I also saw a pattern emerging in those organizations with a commitment and focus on positive outcomes. Interestingly enough, these same ideas were evolving as fundamental to who we were at The Beryl Institute ourselves, as a collective community of front line caregivers and healthcare executives, resources providers and consultants, physicians, patients and families alike. What we saw emerging was a core set of values fundamental to community and experience success overall.

In this, we came to offer the following ideas as core values for our work at The Beryl Institute. I, too, believe in traveling the experience journey over the last five years and seeing all the good being done in providing the best in experience that these values, whether made explicit or not, are central to experience excellence overall. They include:

  • Accessibility: A commitment to open access, a spirit of generosity and the active invitation to engage and contribute that continuously expands reach and sustains growth
  • Agility: The ability to rapidly reconfigure and realign resources to lead new directions and respond as needed within the industry
  • Innovation: A vigilance in continuously searching for new ways of thinking, doing and disseminating ideas
  • Inclusivity: The purposeful consideration of expansive ideas and the engagement of all voices to ensure the broadest perspective and awareness
  • Collaboration: A recognition that overall success is driven by a willingness to partner with others in the sharing of ideas, information and action that ensures better outcomes for all involved

In a healthcare marketplace now expanding its efforts to get at not just the science of healthcare, but the humanity on which it is built, reframing and aligning around a set of core values becomes a fundamental opportunity. As we see efforts now to broaden the conversation, just years ago grounded in clinical checklists alone to now purposefully engaging in not just how patients and families are cared for, but also the fulfillment and well-being of those providing care, we are experiencing a fundamental shift.

I do not believe we ever forgot that this was a caring industry; rather, our caring came in appropriate models. In reframing our efforts around shared values – on a sense of openness and a mindset of abundance; on the capacity of agility, not just a willingness to change; on the acknowledgement that the status quo leaves us slipping behind in the face of a world of innovation; that all voices matter and must be sought with intention; and that in a world of value, competition is now driven in how we execute and in the sharing, not in the secreting of ideas – we are setting a foundation for perhaps one of the most revolutionary periods in healthcare. A focus on experience, on what it represents and the values on which it is built is not a soft idea. Rather it is the bedrock on which the best in outcomes will be built for years to come. It is quality, safety and service, it is cost and the health of our populations globally, it is about the well-being of those delivering care and it is represented in an integrated perspective of bringing ideas together. That is the opportunity we have been presented with today. Our choice now is a simple one: take the first step and act.

 

Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  collaboration  community  foundation  Patient Experience 

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Community Matters in Patient Experience

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Earlier this year at Patient Experience Conference we introduced our latest video, What really matters in Patient Experience?, which called us, through the voices of patients and family members, to consider "all voices matter”, "every interaction matters” and "you matter” in patient experience performance. The subtle message in this video was that for as much as there is clear and recognized individuality in each patient experience story, the needs identified and the outcomes achieved, there are also strong and important commonalities of which we should be aware and on which we must be ready to act.

This same consideration of the value of individuality, yet the power of commonality has arisen with the recent emergence of special interest communities in The Beryl Institute. These groups of individuals focus on key areas of healthcare including patient advocacy, physicians, pediatrics and now patient and family advisors, represent an interesting and critical dichotomy and a balancing we see is needed as we address patient experience. In fact we are encouraged by the interest from all corners of the community to look at other opportunities of focus, such as behavioral health, emergency departments, post acute care, home health and others.

It is clear then that there is a definitive need, one asked for by members of The Beryl Institute, in focusing conversations around shared and special interests. This provides an important opportunity for learning, the collection and dissemination of ideas and the connection among peers. Yet we must also be aware that in doing this, we run the risk of missing opportunities for broader learning and collective focus. While we believe and fully support these independent conversations for all they represent, we too reinforce that there is power in the greater community in which these groups exist. More importantly we cannot lose sight of the opportunity for these communities to learn and share with one another, cross fertilize ideas and grow stronger together as a result.

This idea of creating distinction, or as often seen in healthcare, the delineation of our work in silos, provides us an opportunity to seize, especially as it related to the idea of patient experience. While we might distinguish our efforts and even establish infrastructure and resources in areas such as quality, safety, and service, we too must recognize that these investments collectively are part of our overall experience effort. The question we then should ask, is how are we framing our broader investment in experience excellence overall.

Our recent State of Patient Experience Benchmarking Study revealed that people identified clinical outcomes as the top result of effective experience efforts. This trumped consumer loyalty, customer service and others. Outcomes are what we strive for in healthcare – be they healing and recovery or managing the remaining days of life or be they financial imperatives to create a healthy, vibrant and sustained system of healthcare services. This is the very opportunity we then have in creating alignment among our efforts; weaving together quality, safety, and service, a focus on cost and outcomes, honoring the individuality of all we care for and serve while finding strength in our common actions and purpose; identifying special areas of interest and learning, while striving for collective understanding.

These ideas all come down to one core idea – community matters. In the bringing together of ideas or functions, we do two things – honor and address individual needs, while strengthening our collective stand. This captures the unspoken essence of patient experience itself. As we learned from the voices of the patient and family members so gracious in sharing their stories, while each unique, they too have common desires – to have voice, to be heard, to be treated with dignity and respect, to feel compassion and to receive clinical expertise, to be understood and cared for.

As no two people and in the same light, no two healthcare organizations can or should be alike. We must respect that distinction, while honoring all that brings us together. In balancing this intention in every encounter and every moment we create the opportunity for the best interactions and the most positive of experience. Community matters in patient experience and we must ensure it does for the power of the collection of voices in our movement and in the work it calls us to do every day. We must remain vigilant in ensuring the critical balance of individuality and community. In doing so, we reinforce our call to action - we are all the patient experience.

 

Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D.
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  collaboration  community  patient experience  voice 

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A Research Agenda for Patient Experience Excellence

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2015

As we continue our work at The Beryl Institute in moving the patient experience conversation from one at the fringes of healthcare just a few years ago to a central discussion point in healthcare globally today, we remain committed to developing a true field of practice for this work. This idea, of building a field and framing a profession, requires some fundamental cornerstones be put in place. This includes a professional community from which ideas are percolated and connections are made, a foundational and widely supported body of knowledge that drives professional alignment, a process for identifying and certifying those formal professionals in the field and a solid grounding in research from both an academic and practitioner perspective.

The community is represented by the over 35,000 of you around the world actively involved in accessing and engaging with resources of The Beryl Institute. The Body of Knowledge continues to find great value and expanding reach now through not only a conceptual framework, but also 15 full courses and the ability to achieve certificates of completion for coursework in Patient Experience Leadership and Patient Advocacy. Formal certification is now available through The Beryl Institute’s sister organization – Patient Experience Institute (PXI) – with the inaugural offering of the Certified Patient Experience Professional exam later this year. The first class of CPXPs, our profession’s pioneers, will be announced early next year. All of these efforts have been born from the contributions of hundreds of voices across our global community.

The last cornerstone builds on this idea of community contribution. It is a focus on rigorous research, and the importance of expanding the research agenda for patient experience. This has been building over the 5-year history of The Beryl Institute; first with the establishment of the Patient Experience Grant Program in June of 2010 (applications for the 2015 Grant and Scholar programs are open now), followed by the launch of the open access, peer-reviewed, Patient Experience Journal (PXJ) in April of 2014 (the next call for submissions closes January 2016), and lastly through PXI’s expanding philanthropic outreach to establish even greater support of research efforts (opportunities to donate will soon be available).

This type of reflective thinking, is seen in such government-supported programs as the groundbreaking comparative effectiveness work found at The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), whose mandate is specifically "to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make informed health decisions.” It is also seen in many of the recent efforts supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and their focus on patient and family engagement.

And while there are even other efforts taking place, I still believe we have a significant opportunity to tackle the real tangible nature of the human experience in healthcare itself. The essence of these opportunities is reflected in the patient experience grants, in recent journal articles found in PXJ and elsewhere. When I look to the definition of patient experience itself and the simple, yet intricate nature of the key concepts such as interactions, organization culture, perceptions and cross continuum issues, all linked to outcomes and driven by safe, quality-focused, high reliability, service-driven efforts, there are incredible variables to explore at each point on the continuum of care and across all segments of the healthcare experience. This reaches from chronic illnesses to primary care encounters, long-term residential issues to rural settings or underserved populations. Underlying it all is the nature of human dignity and respect we all know is central to providing the best in healthcare overall.

To drive these ideas, we need to continue to frame, refresh and execute on a robust, thoughtful and I dare say edgy research agenda for patient experience. This is not research to just validate the usefulness of new solutions, but rigorous explorations of what practices, processes, systems, behaviors, communication styles, engagement efforts, tactics and tools not only show promise, but lead to lasting and sustained positive outcomes.

I ask you as the patient experience community what it is that we need to be asking, exploring and proving on we move forward. Are there practices you have taken for granted we could test? How can we explore key elements of the Guiding Principles for Patient Experience Excellence and determine which have the greatest impact, what that looks like and where we should focus our efforts first? How can you partner with your own vendors and resource providers to test new solutions? Or perhaps I will push you even further…how can we as a community come together to provide global insights into many other questions. Our biennial Benchmarking Study represents the kind of opportunity we have at hand to explore ideas both locally and around the world in identifying new concepts that can and should push our thinking in the realm of patient experience overall.

If we are to continue our endeavor in not just shaping, but solidifying and expanding a true field of practice and a profession that can positively influence outcomes for years to come, what questions should we be asking? What should we include in our PX research agenda? I look forward to your thoughts and commit to pulling together these ideas so we can collectively engage and continue to push the patient experience movement forward together. We now just need the right questions to ask.

 

Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D.
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  collaboration  community  global  patient experience  research 

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