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Member Spotlight - January 2017
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Char Ryan, MHA, CPXP


Patient Experience and Employee Engagement Officer
Keck Medicine of USC
Los Angeles, California

As the Patient Experience and Employee Engagement Officer at Keck Medicine of USC, Char works across the health system to ensure an exceptional experience for her colleagues, their patients and families. Her responsibilities include programs and services to enhance the patient and family experience, sustaining and growing the Keck Service Culture, interpretation services, patient and family advisory councils and community benefit and outreach. She has a seat with senior leadership where the patient experience vision and strategies are aligned with the mission, vision and values of the organization.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?

I am humbled to be in a role that I am passionate about and have been able to evolve my position and our department to ensure the patient voice is heard throughout the organization. The foundational work of developing, implementing and sustaining our Keck Service Culture has been transformational and has enabled us to provide an exceptional experience for all. Last year’s annual culture training was focused on connected compassionate care and we were able to train over 96% of the workforce. When leaders and staff ask for more tools to reinforce the message, I know we are making a difference. The results of a foundational culture have led to a grateful patient creating an endowment to support patient and family centered care, in perpetuity, through our patient experience department. This recognition confirms the amazing work the organization has accomplished and will continue to do in the future.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?

Our current opportunities are focused on leadership development and communication. We continue to build trust and accountability throughout the organization. We have recently welcomed many new leaders to our organization, so listening to new ideas to blend with our current programs is essential as we continue to grow and sustain our culture. Our communication focus continues to build on empathetic and compassionate care with a focus on our colleagues, patients and families.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?

I believe the future focus is to continue to bring the patient voice to the partnership between patients and caregivers. The patient voice is the most powerful tool we have to improve the experience that encompasses quality, safety and service. I have found that bringing the patient voice to every project and committee is essential and makes a difference. Patient advisory councils and patient stories will be become even more powerful as we move forward on our journey.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?

I really believe in balancing work and family life. When not working, I love to travel and enjoy spending lots of time at the Colorado River doing outdoor activities with my family. I work hard, but play even harder!

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?

The Beryl Institute is a plethora of information and resources for our organization. I find The Beryl Institute is my go-to for research and enjoy the listserv. My colleagues have lots of great ideas and suggestions. Why recreate the wheel? I find the coursework through the Body of Knowledge has been invaluable for my colleagues at Keck. There is great value and I appreciate the efforts to create a certification for the patient experience professional.

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