Experience Beyond Boundaries: The Next-Generation CXO

By Rachel Abrahams, MPH, Senior Research Manager, Experience Innovation Network, part of Vocera
Twitter: @VoceraComm

What do all these health systems have in common?

  • Leaders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital realized they were overloading their front-line teams with an overwhelming number of improvement initiatives. They embarked on a five-year plan to ensure alignment and a reasonable volume of change for front-line teams. “We no longer talk about safety versus experience,” said Anne Boat, MD, Chief Experience Officer. “We’re talking about Total Care.”
  • Norton Healthcare reorganized its experience leadership from a standalone “service excellence” group to a broader patient experience team. They also moved the experience team to report up to the human resources (HR) operations leader. “The perception of HR had to change for this transition to work,” said Jacinta Nelson, System Associate Vice President of HR Operations. “HR had to be out there with recognition and capturing meaningful feedback.”
  • At Parkview Health, physicians identified the need to know a patient’s wishes, values, and concerns before that patient was in “crisis mode.” Leaders at Parkview decided to roll out Gundersen Health’s Respecting Choices® model for advance care planning conversations to both co-workers and to patients and families. By leading the rollout with care team members, the team ensured buy-in and commitment to the program’s success.
  • To drive improvement across their healthcare system, physician leaders at Hillcrest Medical Center overhauled the peer review and credentialing process, and built a service line leadership structure based on dyad and triad partnerships with nursing and administrative leaders. They engaged a communication training approach designed to build a relationship-based culture.
  • Experience leaders at Hackensack Meridian Health knew that involving patients in critical decisions about service redesign, experience strategies, and patient support efforts leads to better results. So they built a virtual community, called Hackensack Meridian Health SoundingBoard, designed for fielding surveys, testing ideas, and recruiting patients for interviews and events. “SoundingBoard is the most nimble way to infuse the voice of the customer – on what to do and what not to do – to inform decisions and co-design better experiences,” said Tria Deibert, Vice President, Experience Marketing.
  • After San Mateo Medical Center (SMMC) rolled out new service standards, they engaged patients and families, known as Improvement Partners, to validate that team members were embracing the new standards. Now, Improvement Partners are involved in most of SMMC’s improvement initiatives. “We’re proud to have patients on every committee and in every strategic meeting,” said Alpa Sanghavi, MD, Chief Quality and Experience Officer.

What they all have in common is forward-thinking leaders who are driving experience transformation. Whether they are strengthening their hospital’s experience culture, improving physician and staff well-being, driving accountability, building true partnerships, or embedding patients in workflows, each of them embodies the difference between satisfaction and experience.

What they also have in common is that their stories are part of the Vocera-EIN-Rpt-NextGenCXO_2017 from the Experience Innovation Network, part of Vocera.

Beyond Satisfaction
The healthcare experience is about something broader and deeper than patient satisfaction. It’s about the physical and emotional well-being of patients, families, friends, nurses, doctors, staff, and team members. It’s about the entire journey through the healthcare system, and making sure every step of the journey is delivering the greatest possible healing with empathy and respect.

Our new report puts forth a definition for the optimal human experience in healthcare:

Respectful, empathetic interactions that connect people to purpose, build trust, and ease suffering for all involved in healthcare – patients, families, and team members.

Delivering on this type of experience requires leaders to infuse a focus on the human experience into every aspect of care.

Over the past two years, the Experience Innovation Network has published studies about leading healthcare experience transformation. These studies emphasize the increasing strategic importance of the chief experience officer (CXO) role, and home in on the shift from patient and family experience to human experience.

This year, we set out to discover what experience leaders are focusing on now and what’s next for the industry. Drawing on more than 200 survey responses and more than 40 executive interviews, we found:

  1. Leaders are well on their way to aligning experience, quality, safety, and process improvement. The next frontier for forward-thinking experience leaders is to increase collaboration with areas such as HR and IT to drive meaningful culture change.
  2. Experience leaders still struggle to drive accountability at every level. Advanced organizations are assessing the impact on experience for all projects, and auditing results.
  3. Front-line participation in improving experience is nearly standard, but there’s too much reliance on nurses to execute. Physician partnerships will be a key focus for 2017.
  4. Patient-family advisory councils are a prime vehicle for patient involvement in experience improvement. Leading-edge organizations are going further by engaging patients and families in diverse and creative ways.

The Future of Experience Leadership
With the uncertainties of today’s healthcare climate, experience leaders often face barriers to making human experience a top strategic priority. But we believe the future of healthcare experience is bright. Experience leaders are building relationships with patients, families, staff, nurses, and physicians, and reaching out not only to quality and safety teams, but also to HR, IT, and finance.

When we remember that healthcare is about human beings interacting with human beings, we can work together to deliver an optimal human experience.

This article was originally published on Vocera and is republished here with permission.

The semi-annual CXO Roundtable, happening Oct 17 – 19, 2017, in San Francisco! Sponsored by the Experience Innovation Network (EIN) — a first-of-its-kind “think tank” of Chief Experience Officers (CXOs) focused on improving the healthcare experience for patients and clinicians — the CXO Roundtable is three days of fun, educational workshops, speaking engagements, and panel discussions all focused on this year’s topic: The Future of Caring.