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Member Spotlight-July 2017
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Ann Petersen DPT, CPXP


Director, Patient Experience
UnityPoint Health
West Des Moines, Iowa

In her role, Ann supports, educates and convenes Patient Experience Directors from across the health system (currently comprised of 9 senior affiliate hospitals, over 280 medical practices and over 13 home care agencies across three states in the Midwest) to work toward the creation of standard tools and approaches to improve the experience of their patients and families across the network in support of the enterprise strategy. This requires extreme collaboration with leaders of patient safety and clinical quality as well as strong relationships with Marketing & Communications, Human Resources, physician leaders, executives and front line staff.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?

In 2015, I coordinated the first ever enterprise-wide patient experience conference we called “Own the Moment”. The goal was to heighten the awareness of system executives and leaders as to the importance of this work and our need to improve. The event was a huge success. In 2016, our participation grew from 340 to almost 700 leaders from across the health system. This event has helped bring patient experience to the forefront of strategic discussions.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?

Resource allocation. After the 2015 Own the Moment conference, I gained support to develop the regional Patient Experience Director roles. These roles were to be solely devoted to managing patient experience locally: survey data, improvement strategies, observation and coaching, etc. Some of our Directors wear many hats and, while we continue to support these roles in the regions, many of them are an Army of One and could use other formally dedicated support.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?

Our journey is maturing from data driving strategy (tactics) to observations and coaching for the behaviors that demonstrate we are compassionately present in the moment.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?

I love to be outside flower gardening when possible. I kickbox because my bad hips keep me from running as much as I’d like. Getting old stinks!!

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?

The Beryl Institute brings together thought leaders from across the world!! I love the tools and resources at my fingertips! The institute has been instrumental in heightening the awareness of the difficult journey to improve the experience of patients and families for those of us working in the field. The institute has helped the industry understand that patient experience is not “the fluffy stuff”; it’s hard work that takes intention and strategic, deliberate thought. The development of the CPXP through the sister organization Patient Experience Institute has been transformational.

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