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Introducing a Framework for Experience in Healthcare

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, PhD, CPXP, Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2018

From the Roots of Community

In just a few weeks, The Beryl Institute will reach its eighth anniversary as a membership community and a growing global community of practice. On our journey we have been dedicated to building a network of committed professionals, practitioners, innovators, patients and family members and partners. That network, through its commitment to sharing wildly, has helped shape a framework for what represents the human experience in healthcare and clarify eight strategic lenses through which organizations can engage all voices in ensuing the best in experience for all.

This growing body of knowledge and collective understanding established through research and experience and the content it has produced called for a means to better codify, digest and access the information that will support everyone on this shared experience journey. The idea was a simple one, to establish a framework through which we could individually, organizationally and collectively understand where we are, identify the opportunities we have and then connect to the resources and solutions that will help us continue on the road to experience excellence.

Through conversations with a broad range of community members over the last year, this idea evolved from an experience landscape that could be used to define the work, to an experience framework, represented by an integrated set of lenses that influence experience. It offers an actionable means to engage deeper in experience improvement and excellence. 

Why an Experience Framework

An experience framework helps us in three critical ways. The first, it provides clarity in the strategic areas of focus – the strategic lenses – through which any experience endeavor should be framed. If we ascribe to the view of experience as the integration of all we do from quality, safety and service to the range of factors that influence the healthcare experience, then a means to identify these ideas and a structure to frame them helps us in expanding our strategic view of experience and leads to more comprehensive action overall. 

The second, it provides a means to identify where you are excelling or may have opportunities to address. By engaging in experience efforts through a set of strategic lenses you can both understand the areas in which action has led to outcomes and identify areas in which further work is needed. This framing also helps, as noted above, in ensuring a comprehensive set of actions focused on the experience effort overall.

The third reflects a practical application of the framework, as it offers a means by which knowledge, resources and solutions can be aligned. You will see that all content now available via The Beryl Institute aligns with one or more of the eight lenses (and is searchable based on these lenses as well). You will also find our events, such as Patient Experience Conference, will evolve into active learning programs centered around these lenses and we will be working with our vendor partners to align their solutions to the lenses they address as well. 

We invite and encourage others to consider this framework as a means to identify and align content and knowledge and share broadly as a result. Through this common framework we can create more efficient connection of needs to knowledge, strategies to resources and opportunities to solutions and expand our collective global dialogue through a common structure for focus and action.

The Experience Framework

With that recognized opportunity and an understanding of the roots and motivation for this endeavor I’d like to introduce you to the eight strategic lenses of the experience framework. In framing this introduction, it is important to stress that through the community input that shaped the framework we underline that all voices are critical and matter in the experience conversation. In addition, this framework reaches well beyond the clinical experience of patients to the full extent of the human experience in healthcare. The framework as such represents the range of perspectives and honors the breadth of those perspectives in its considerations while having some intentionality in helping to align and support the broader strategic and operational items that impact experience endeavors. It also recognizes that no two individual experiences can or will ever be the same and so this is not intended as a one size fits all solution, but rather as introduced, it is a strategic framework to enable that level of individualization to be even more effective. In having a means to align efforts at a macro level, we are well served to drive specific efforts and address specific needs to the level we must in any effective healthcare endeavor. 

The framework (Figure 1) is built on eight strategic lenses all of which address some aspect of what impacts and influences experience. Each of the eight lenses is also accompanied by a statement of “why”, rather than a definition. Our intention was not to create a static model of commonly accepted definitions, but rather to introduce eight active lenses and the considerations for why they require our focus in any experience effort. The eight lenses and their why statements follow: 

  • Culture & Leadership: The foundation of any successful experience effort is set on who an organization is, its purpose and values, and how it is led.
  • Infrastructure  & Governance: Effective experience efforts require both the right structures and processes by which to operate and communicate and the formal guidance in place to ensure sustained strategic focus.
  • Patient, Family & Community Engagement: Central to any experience effort are the voices of, contributions from and partnerships with those receiving care and the community served.
  • Staff  &  Provider  Engagement: Caring for those delivering and supporting the delivery of care and reaffirming a connection to meaning and purpose is fundamental to the successful realization of a positive experience.
  • Environment & Hospitality: The space in which a healthcare experience is delivered and the practices implemented to ensure a positive, comfortable and compassionate encounter must be part of every effort.
  • Innovation & Technology:  As a focus on experience expands, it requires new ways of thinking and doing and the technologies and tools to ensure efficiencies, expand capacities and extend boundaries of care.
  • Policy & Measurement:  Experience is driven and influenced by external factors and systemic and financial realities and requires accepted and understood metrics to effectively measure outcomes and drive action.
  • Quality & Clinical Excellence: Experience encompasses all an individual encounters and the expectations they have for safe, quality, reliable, and effective care focused on positively impacting health and well-being.

 

                              Figure 1. The Beryl Institute Experience Framework

 

A Move to Action

With the introduction of the experience framework, I want to reinforce the active nature of this work. We already have research efforts underway to further validate the framework and its application in certain care settings as well as will soon be releasing a report and follow-up research on influence factors of experience related to the strategic lenses.

The release of this framework is not simply a call for action and a hope for a response, but rather this is a move to action in itself. When we align as a community around what is fundamental to experience success and support one another in both what is needed to succeed and in helping others to understand what this work truly encompasses, then we can truly call ourselves a movement. The experience journey we have been on as a community has led us to this point where we can stand together in providing a formal frame to understand our opportunities and guide our actions. It is now up to each of us to determine how we will apply these ideas to support our own efforts, to positively impact those we care for and the communities we serve and how we can all continue to contribute to this global conversation on experience that is fundamentally changing healthcare for the better. Thank you to you all for your partnership and collaboration on this journey. 

 

Jason A. Wolf, PhD, CPXP
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  engagement  experience efforts  framework  lens  strategic 

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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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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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Silence: The Invisible Tool for Patient Experience Excellence

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I must start my comments with a disclaimer that this blog is not about noise reduction, though I still have yet to find an organization that has conquered this great challenge in healthcare today. In fact our own research at The Beryl Institute continues to show noise reduction to be a leading area of focus, public survey results continue to highlight it as a challenge and a simple walk around most healthcare facilities reinforces the opportunity this issue represents.

Interesting enough was that in our own work on the issue of noise and hearing from recognized efforts in the field of healthcare acoustics that we will never and in actually should never strive for perfect silence. Not only would it be unachievable, it would not meet the true needs of so many in our care. Rather what I mean by silence as we look to patient experience excellence is a much different idea. I wish to frame this not as a negative – i.e., the result of suppressing noise, but rather in the appreciative, as the art of creating a space in which we can hear.

I spent the last week traveling the halls of healthcare organizations and was warmed by the buzz of humanity, and embraced by the rhythmic symphony of conversations and footsteps, beeps and clicks all symbolizing the living nature of healthcare. But what was most moving and perhaps most powerful was a lesson hiding invisibly in front of all us in healthcare trying to have a positive impact…it was those subtle moments between the beats that have incredible power.

In providing a sense of silence for those we work with, care for and serve we create a space for their voices to be heard, their ideas to find opportunities to grow. In affording the gift of silence – that is the space of silence – we enable people to feel acknowledged and listened too. Yet we must also admit that of all places healthcare may be the hardest place to provide this space of silence.

What I mean by this is our ability to be with someone so they can express themselves, providing time to think and reply, to open our eyes or inform us even in the face of the great expertise so many bring in this work. In the space of silence we do more to offer a sense of dignity and respect, of care, compassion, and commitment than we almost ever do in providing a monologue pertaining to our expertise. There is a time and a place for that as well.

In a world where speed so often matters and chaos is the foundation of normality, the ability to sit with someone and allow them to be heard is profound. So how can we proceed in this way for better outcomes in all we do? It may be the most simple, yet difficult concept I have yet proposed in tacking patient experience opportunities. Yet I see it over and over, when we take the time to listen for needs, understand pains, work to connect with the human standing across from us that most of all wants to be heard, great things can and do happen.

As an extrovert I am guilty of violating this trust more often that I would like to admit, so I feel comfortable challenging us all in how we can proceed. How often do we provide the space for a reply, invite a comment or simply choose to be with someone by sitting at their bedside, holding their hand. Words at times do more to create our noise problems than anything else. More so we hear from many that in their attempt to be heard we in healthcare often miss their voices…our lack of silence being the very liability we look to avoid.

This was no more apparent to me than in the moving story shared by a brave colleague Tanya Lord who in all she tried to raise about the care of her son in a mishandled post operative situation was simply given the typical responses and they were eventually discharged from care. In many ways to me her story, and the tragic and painful loss of her son, was a bold splash of our cold reality in healthcare. We must find the time for silence and to listen…in those moments we have the greatest chance to change, if not save, lives. We must also acknowledge this is about much more then the act of listening. I am sure many of the folks with whom Tanya engaged listened, they just did not hear. They too missed the art of silence. To be clear, I am not suggesting a silence in which people are not heard, but rather in creating the space in which we actually allow hearing to happen.

If we are to achieve the best in experience for all in healthcare it cannot simply be about what we say or know, the strategies we shape or the tactics we employ. At its very essence it must be about how we as humans choose to address this sacred and critical work. In all that is sacred I maintain the most transforming moments are less often found in the words and more in the silent moments and what they contain in between. If we can intentionally bring silence to our work in patient experience it may be the boldest and I dare say loudest statement of our humanity and all we strive to achieve in caring for one another. I am willing to give it a try…are you?

 

 

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

Tags:  committment  compassion  culture  engagement  improving patient experience  listen  noise reduction  patient experiencePatient Experience 

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Patient Experience Matters

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As the final hours before Patient Experience Conference 2015 count down, I am reminded of the importance of the journey we have set out upon. When we work, as one community, encompassing a diversity of thought and experiences, on a cause so central to healthcare – the experience of all in our global system of care – only good things can happen. For so many committed to the best in experience for the patients, residents and families they serve – be they the almost 35,000 members and guests of The Beryl Institute Community, the readership of Patient Experience Journal from over 100 countries, the volunteer leaders and content contributors, writers, tweeters, caregivers and support staff around the globe – we often find ourselves in small pockets of people, likeminded in purpose and focus. Tackling this work in small bands spread far can at times be exhausting, even knowing you have the support of the thousands in our virtual community. 

I, too, know that there is power in the ability to come together and recall the words shared by a participant in the closing conference discussion session we held at the end of our first patient experience conference now five years ago. (Yes, it was intimate enough we could all have one discussion.) That person stood, with the polished, but worn glean of a conference well spent, of learning gained and new connections made, and said "I now know I am not alone.” It was a profound and awakening statement that has been a fundamental root of our last five years in growing the Institute community. First, that you, as professionals or as patient or family members, are not alone on this journey and second, there is a place you can come to connect, find support, contribute, be vulnerable, breathe, smile and grow. But more so, there is a special moment when you can do that with one another together at Patient Experience Conference.

I have heard some call the event a family reunion and others call it the recharge they needed from a year of draining work. In all descriptions, I have heard something underlying it all – Patient Experience Conference, while a "conference” in title, is nothing like any other healthcare conference experience you can or will have. Others may have summits, conferences or symposiums with the requisite healthcare structures, protocols and learning. From that we do not differ, but what you do find are the people and the connections that last well beyond just three days a year.

Since our first Patient Experience Conference, I have opened reinforcing that important point – that in looking around the room, the power of our time together is in more than lessons shared, PowerPoints projected or even compelling stories told. It is in the gift of being together, of those around you, and all you and they have to offer. When we spend the next three days in Dallas, that will happen once again. Together, we will create a gathering not meant to highlight one organization or a specific product, but rather bring life to an event that is committed to the very idea that is at the heart of the importance I mention above. Simply stated, patient experience matters.

It matters because it touches the lives of so many leading to quality, safe, service-focused encounters conscious of cost, committed to outcomes, open to all voices and intent on nothing but the best for all we care for from healing to the fate of spending one’s last days in dignity. You see, we are all the patient experience. So I, too, look forward to the next few days ahead, but in highlighting their importance, return to a point so central to our work. We are not in this alone, and there is a community to support you every day of the year. I am proud of what we – our community of committed leaders around the world – have created, humbled by the cause we have taken on and inspired by all I know we have yet to do together.

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

Tags:  engagement  family  networking  patient experience  Patient Experience Conference 

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The Importance of Invitation in Patient Experience Excellence

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Monday, March 9, 2015

I was talking to a member recently who asked what has been the key to our growth at The Beryl Institute over the last few years from an idea to a global community now engaging over 30,000 members and guests from around the world. My response came quickly. It is the willingness to ask – that is to invite people to participate, to get involved, to offer ideas, to provide input, ultimately to engage in our efforts and in this movement.

It was for both of us, a subtle, but profound moment, as the individual was struggling with how to move from mandating compliance to experience efforts in their organization to creating a sense of involvement and ownership for action. For me, I realized it has been a sense of openness to all ideas, perspectives and voices, the value of abundance I challenged us all to consider in starting this year, that has supported our own ongoing efforts to invite the engagement of so many of this journey. I too recognized in our conversation that invitation was not only an opportunity for growth, it provided a powerful idea for patient, resident and family experience excellence itself. 

Invitation is a simple, yet profound act. It requires a strong sense of self-understanding, a willingness to be vulnerable and open to new discoveries. In offering an invitation we acknowledge the value of others and express our respect for and trust in their presence. More so invitations themselves are the seeds of new possibilities.

When I think about what organizations work to accomplish for those in their care at all points of interaction across the continuum, the greatest opportunity we may have is to invite. If we believe experience excellence is driven by both the engagement of the people in our organizations and those we care for, why just create opportunities for engagement and hope others respond? Rather we must create them and invite people to act.

How can we do this in healthcare today? For our own teams we can invite input on new ideas or participation in strategic efforts or even tactical planning. For patients, residents and families we can invite their participation in both personal and organizational opportunities. As individuals, we can engage them in their care planning, involve them in shift transition conversations or even post care decisions. Organizationally we can invite involvement in patient, resident and/or family advisory councils, we can engage people in strategic planning sessions or on operating councils or boards.

I believe there is a significant difference in hearing "people are just not engaged” if we simply work to create opportunities we hope people will take advantage of versus creating those opportunities and actively inviting participation. Yes, it is through inviting that we have the greatest of opportunities in creating cultures and interactions that will drive the best in experiences. How will you create opportunities for invitation in your own organizations for both whom you work with and those you serve?

In that spirit of invitation then I would be remiss in not living up to the response I offered my colleague. While there are so many ways to engage in the patient experience movement, first I invite you to consider joining us for Patient Experience Conference 2015. As a central community gathering for people committed to experience excellence at points all across the continuum of care and supporting those efforts, this event provides for a coming home and/or a recharging for some, and an awakening and/or learning opportunity for many others. More importantly it connects you with fellow travelers on this journey and committed to this cause from which to build lasting connections.

With that I too must invite you and your organizations to consider our most rapidly growing opportunity in the Institute itself, Institutional Memberships. These incredible connections have stretched the boundaries of the experience conversation in ways we could not anticipate and to corners of the world we could not imagine. It also reinforces the fact that the experience of those in our care is an ongoing and relentless pursuit and connecting to a broader community and support network can only help each of us be stronger. That is it, the power of invitation exemplified.

Many of you may have heard of Shel Silverstein, one of the earliest poets I digested as a child. And while seemingly focused on children in his writings, his message resonates for all of us. He wrote a wonderful piece called "Invitation”:

If you are a dreamer, come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by the fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

- Shel Silverstein

There is incredible simplicity in the art of invitation, and yet it has the opportunity for unparalleled impact on all we do in healthcare today. I invite you to join us. Come in!

 

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

Tags:  community of practice  engagement  invitation  Patient Experience 

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Collaboration key to driving patient experience excellence

Posted By Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

One underlying and powerful philosophy has driven all the work we have done at The Beryl Institute in the last four years. It is through the collective voices comprising our global community of practice that we generate ideas, learn and share with others. Through this collaboration both within the community and with others committed to this critical cause – the patient experience movement is supported, nourished, and will continue to thrive.

I have yet to see in any environment, the ability to achieve AND sustain success without a sense of alignment, collaboration and shared purpose. Organizations intent of fostering deep-rooted silos (or simply allowing them to exist) tend to reinforce battles for scarce resources and the pulling at an organization’s seams. In a movement as delicate and important as providing the best in experience for the patients, families and communities we serve, while also caring for each other delivering care, we must work in a much different way. I do not suggest competition is bad, in that it motivates innovation, expediency and progress, but rather that we must look to collaboration as a central capacity we should search for in our own organizations and those we choose to work with as we address patient experience excellence.

We have worked hard to model and encourage this through our work at The Beryl Institute. Our efforts have worked to bring disparate voices and perspectives together, such as our "voices” paper series that even included a paper with many competing survey vendors in one publication. It has been seen in the various research we have conducted, events we have produced, learning we have developed and organizations we have worked to engage with or support.

The Patient Experience Body of Knowledge itself was developed by over 400 voices and included the engagement of central partners and experts in the experience effort such as the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) and others. We have worked with the American Hospital Association to ensure patient advocates still had a professional home to continue expanding their rich history. We are expanding our engagement with key players in the physician practice and long-term care arenas to reinforce the fact that experience crosses the continuum of care.

From the collective voices that helped frame the very definition of patient experience, to our recognition that all voices matter on the experience conversation, we have worked to engage experience leaders and executives to front line staff, patients and families to resource providers, journalists to academic researchers. Our purpose is to not only encourage, but also model collaboration. We do this for the greater good of the movement and as an opportunity for all to consider in driving experience excellence.

If we are to continue to push the patient experience conversation forward, it will take the aligned efforts of many to frame, reinforce and progress the effort. It will take a reinforcement of the very values that have driven our work to date. You can consider the same as an opportunity in your own organization as you work towards collaborative success in impacting your patient experience efforts.

  • Ensure clarity of what it is you are trying to achieve. I maintain that definition and a clear purpose that is understood and shared by all is central to any patient experience success.
  • Find alignment in your efforts. What are the common causes you are looking to address? All too often we let competing interests shadow central needs that will benefit our organization and desired outcomes. Find points of purposeful action and move forward.
  • Actively engage all voices. Beyond simply creating the space for inclusion, is actively seeking, inviting, respecting and integrating all voices that may influence your work. There are multidimensional and broad reaching perspectives that impact experience excellence and we are best served by hearing them all.

While these values in action are fundamental to success, the most important thing we can do in addressing experience excellence is to take action itself. We must be mindful not to let the desire for or enactment of collaboration become the reason for inaction. It should and must become a means by which we all move forward on this issue together.

Collaboration in patient experience excellence is a local issue, one that must be managed by each organization striving for success. It also is a critical systemic opportunity. For in finding the strength of collaboration among organizations and ideas, we can support clarity, purpose and shared action that will ensure a strong and lasting focus on the experience of patients, residents, families and each other for many years to come. This may be healthcare’s strongest prescription for excellence. It is our job, together, to see it through.

Jason A. Wolf
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  collaboration  culture  engagement  healthcare  Patient Experience 

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Encouraging Conversations on Patient Experience Excellence

Posted By Jason A. Wolf Ph.D., Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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
President
The Beryl Institute

Tags:  community of practice  connection  engagement  networking  patient experience 

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