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The Beryl Institute invites members to submit posts on patient experience related topics. For guidelines and information on submitting a post for consideration, contact


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Top tags: patient experience  healthcare  communication  culture  patient  HCAHPS  Leadership  patient engagement  empathy  physician  survey  compassion  perception  physicians  caregiver  data  employee engagement  family engagement  healing  Hospital  improving patient experience  technology  collaboration  community  Consumerism  Expectations  interactions  patient and family engagement  pediatric  person-centered care 

Embracing Patient Feedback Lays the Foundation for Better Healthcare Relationships

Posted By Brandon L. Parkhurst, MD, MBA, CPXP, Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In a blog, published August 28, 2012 Health IT CEO and thought leader Leonard Kish declared an engaged patient as the blockbuster drug of the century.My reaction was an immediate “Yes!”  As a physician I’ve experienced many examples of patients leading more enriched lives due to their healthy decisions.  When my organization started to discuss sharing patient feedback via online provider profiles, the potential of encouraging patient engagement seemed the most significant benefit.

At Marshfield Clinic, we decided to share patient feedback via a provider star rating and patient comments on our public website. This data is shared for our clinic practice providers who have a minimum of 30 returned surveys over a period of 12 months. We do not share data regarding our urgent care, emergency room or hospitalist providers as our patients are not able to choose providers in those settings. Our desire is that our patients, and future patients, will be able to use this data to assist in their health care decisions. Sharing patient feedback openly lays the foundation for a collaborative health partnership based upon transparency and trust. Once trust and an environment of collaboration are established, engagement is easier to achieve.

In addition to giving patients access to data which can impact their care decisions, transparently sharing patient feedback highlights the excellent care given by our providers. Personal sharing of positive care experiences, i.e. word-of-mouth advertising, is commonly identified as a significant business asset. In this age of social media, sharing a web link to a provider profile, along with a personal testimony, has the ability to impact a much wider audience than a traditional face to face conversation. This expanded conversation regarding health care providers might even empower some individuals to seek care where they otherwise might have gone without. As caregivers we all recognize the devastating consequences when care is postponed or avoided. These online conversations have tremendous power to engage individuals in their homes and communities.

Ultimately, I’m certain Mr. Kish’s words will prove wise as person-centered healthcare and the resulting effects of improving patient engagement are realized.  Sharing data transparently is one step in the evolution of person-centered healthcare.  Over the last few years many health care organizations have embraced the transparent sharing of patient feedback. Paul Sommer (Geisinger Health System) and I recently presented a webinar on this topic with many questions and comments from those attending. This webinar remains available through The Beryl Institute archives. In the end, we all benefit when health care collaboration, trust and engagement is improved and supported!


Brandon Parkhurst is the Medical Director of Patient Experience for Marshfield Clinic and splits his time between the practice of Family Medicine and leading patient experience improvement. Brandon was born and raised in rural north Missouri where his parents and grandparents consistently taught him that you do right by people because it’s the right thing to do.

Tags:  data  feedback  partnership  patient engagement  physician  star rating  surveys 

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When it Comes to Experience Management Many Hospitals are Stuck in 20th Century Thought

Posted By Lou Carbone, Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, November 11, 2013

Given the dynamic changes taking place in healthcare, it’s not surprising patient experience is a top priority for most hospitals. What is surprising, however, is the outdated mindset hospitals often have about how to improve the experience. Many are investing in quality and process improvement. They’re recognizing they have customers, and they’re integrating patient feedback in making tactical improvements in hospital design.

This mindset is deeply concerning. Hospitals need to realize that experience isn’t the result of a process improvement. They’re under leveraging how they’re using patient input because they’re still focusing on WHAT patients think versus on HOW they think.

Old school thinking focuses on asking for opinions and suggestions as input. Today, success depends on understanding how patients think about their experience, and then designing and managing the experience accordingly. However, many hospitals are suffering because they’re trapped in an outdated way of thinking in an industry that’s changing rapidly.

Hospitals need to be "clued in” to the patient experience. In other words, do you know how the clues you’re delivering are making your patients feel? Better yet, do you even know how your patients want to feel when they’re at your hospital?

Let’s tackle these questions. Know it or not, you’re constantly delivering a barrage of clues to your patients. What they see, smell, hear, taste and touch will create their "experience” and affect them emotionally, even though they aren't even aware it’s happening. That’s because research tells us that 95% of our mental processing takes place unconsciously; only 5% of your patients’ decisions are based on conscious rational thought.

To engage patients, you need to dig deep into this uncharted 95% of experience processing. Which helps us answer the second question. Most hospitals look at the experience from the company-out, focusing on what their brand must project to affect patients’ impressions of its service. I believe, however, the holy grail is thinking and looking at everything from the customer-back, identifying the emotions patients want to feel during their experience and then designing and managing the clues embedded in the experience to elicit these emotions.

I recently worked with Nemours (which has children’s hospitals and clinics in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida) to help improve the ED experience. Knowing that a trip to the ED is inherently stressful, we dug deeper and discovered that above all, ED patients and families want to feel understood, secure and confident. This trio of emotions became the framework around which the patient experience was redesigned.

Nemours learned that having the child seen swiftly by the physician upon arrival in the ED minimizes parents’ anxiety and reassures them their child is in good hands. So, there is now a physician in triage so the patient is seen right away upon arrival, as well as a "pivot nurse” who provides a fast assessment and quickly moves with the patient and family to the place where care will be provided.

To minimize the times patients and families have to tell the story of what brought them to the ED and their health history, they are experimenting with conducting intake interviews via "team huddles” in which the team of doctors and nurses interviews the patient and family together.

When nurses change shifts, the hand-off is now conducted at the patient’s bedside, involving the family in conversations about the patient’s condition, how care will be continued during the shift, upcoming tests and procedures, etc.

Given the variety of doctors, nurses and staff that are involved in a patient’s ED care, all hospital personnel wear color-coded uniforms so the patient and family feel more secure knowing what that person’s role is.

As Nemours learned, understanding the experience from the inside out helps you get into the minds of your patients. Once you understand the unconscious drivers that impact patient behavior, you can transform to intentionally designing and delivering experiences that give you a competitive edge.

Lewis P. (Lou) Carbone is the Founder, President and Chief Experience Officer of Minneapolis-based Experience Engineering, Inc., and the author of Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again (recipient of the celebrated Fast Company Reader’s Choice Award). Widely recognized as the founder of customer experience management, Lou has spent more than two decades leading the world in the development of experience value management theory and practice in a broad range of industries.


Tags:  design  ED  emotion  feedback  patient engagement  patient experience  priority  process 

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