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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 michelle.garrison@theberylinstitute.org.

 

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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!

1http://healthstandards.com/blog/2012/08/28/drug-of-the-century/

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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The Power of Partnerships: Unifying Patients Relations and Patient Experience

Posted By Sarah Fay, MBA, Friday, March 10, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 10, 2017

We can all agree that in order to have a well-rounded view of patient experience, we cannot look solely at the information that comes back to us in our patient experience surveys – they are just one piece of a larger puzzle that make up an organization’s culture. And culture is what drives the experience…for everyone. I believe that we must look at data from several vantage points. Some of these, include: 

  • patient experience surveys
  • employee engagement surveys
  • physician engagement surveys
  • information gathered during executive and leader rounding
  • patient stories
  • key human resource metrics
  • feedback from our patient and family advisory councils
  • quality and safety data.

If we leave one vantage point out, we risk losing the complete picture. And this picture must include patient relations data as well.

I oversee patient experience for Southwest General Health Center, a long-standing 354-bed community hospital in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Last year, we merged our patient relations department with our patient experience department. Unifying these departments has not only helped me in my work – it has benefited our patients too.

The richness of the data collected by our patient representative is invaluable to developing and executing our patient experience strategy. By combining our patient relations data with our patient experience data, we have a well-rounded view of our patients’ perceptions. Trending our patient relations data is key to this.

  1. Trends helps us determine where we need to focus our efforts. The trends in concerns and complaints bring to light an area that we have an opportunity in, while the trends in compliments bring to light an area we can celebrate. When we combine these trends with our patient experience survey data, we are better able to prioritize our strategies, programs and celebrations.

  2. Trends help us pinpoint areas that need additional support. When we combine these trends with our patient experience survey data, I am able to hone in on areas, departments, units or individuals that may need specific training or one-on-one coaching. It also tells me where we need to focus our process improvement efforts. The trends in compliments show me areas, department, units or individuals that I can rely on to champion the cause. Those people can then help train and coach others.

  3. Trends help us conclude if the initiatives we have put in place on the front-end are working. Combining the patient experience survey data with the trends of both compliments and complaints, tells me if our programs and initiatives are having the intended outcomes. 

Our partnership extends beyond the data too. Our patient representative has a very unique skillset – one that I hope to transfer to the bedside through a robust service recovery program at Southwest General. With her distinctive skillset, she can help develop a program, train our staff and teach them how to embrace the skills necessary to handle concerns and complaints right at the bedside. This will shift her into a more proactive role and I believe that is the wave of the future.  

Sarah Fay, MBA, is the Director of Guest Experience at Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. She may be reached at sfay@swgeneral.com

Tags:  data  engagement  partnership  patient experience  patient relations  surveys 

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