When first hearing the term patient experience, some might claim it is the latest healthcare management fad and others a marketing ploy created to attract healthcare clients to new services and solutions. While these reactions may be deserved based on other healthcare precedents, they do not represent what is now taking place. Patient experience has taken on a true life of its own and there is a clear and growing movement for patient experience improvement.
The Right Thing to Do
For those in healthcare, improving the experience is one thing that is right to do. It is about providing the type of care experience for patients and families that you would want for yourself and your loved ones and more so an experience these individuals are hoping for, and more significantly, expecting.
At The Beryl Institute, our focus has been to create a space for our members and the broader healthcare community to engage and contribute to elevating the dialogue on improving the patient experience. We work every day to create and sustain a global community and gathering place where ideas can be fostered and shared. In a shared commitment to this cause, healthcare leaders are contributing every day to dialogue through The Beryl Institute on practices, processes and programs focused on patient experience improvement.
Bringing Focus to the Challenge
In support of these efforts, we have worked with our community to establish and share a clear and forward-looking definition for patient experience to help frame and focus the conversation. We see patient experience as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care. This definition has brought focus to our mission of improving the patient experience and helped foster the growth of the community to almost 20,000 members in over 45 countries.
In conjunction with a framing definition, we have focused intently on understanding how organizations are working to address patient experience overall. Through not only community connection and conversation, but also in focused research, we have benchmarked the state of the patient experience and expanded the means to measure overall progress.
In July 2013, The Institute released a report highlighting results from its patient experience benchmarking study, The State of Patient Experience in American Hospitals, exploring the drivers and roadblocks facing healthcare organizations addressing improvement. The headlines – support from senior leadership continues to be the biggest driving force in supporting patient experience efforts, and distracted leadership is now listed as the biggest roadblock. However, hospital professionals continue to be cautiously and realistically optimistic about the progress being made to improve the patient experience overall, and tactical change is underway and focused on key issues including:
- Better communication
- Reduced noise levels
- Improving the discharge process
I invite you to download the complimentary research report for much more information and if you are looking for the key highlights of the findings, an infographic of the study results is also available.
Breaking Down Barriers to Success
Our commitment at The Beryl Institute remains that by bringing together a broad community of practice and providing the venues – both physical and virtual – for not just learning, but interactions and sharing, we break down barriers to success and expose new paths to patient experience improvement.
While much has been accomplished, there is much more room to grow. The challenge remains to stay focused and committed to what we can, and should, accomplish together.