By Katie Owens, Vice President, HealthStream Engagement Institute
Being on the receiving end of the patient experience is rarely something we plan for in our lives. At Healthstream we are dedicated to ensuring cultivation of patient experience competencies because we believe every patient deserves the best developed workforce. As we celebrate Patient Experience (PX) Week, we believe it is a time for renewal and re-dedication to one of the most compelling needs patients and their loved ones encounter—to know they are in good hands throughout their care experiences.
All of our missions call us to serve and prioritize the patient experience. As Jason Wolf, President of the Beryl Institute, recently shared in Frontiers of Health Services Management, “The patient experience is the new heart of leadership.” At HealthStream we believe PX can be a rock and rallying call that inspires the workforce and creates joy in an industry that can certainly feel challenging at times.
Empathy and Patient Experience
During a recent speaking engagement, I polled the audience during an empathy exercise and asked participants to tell me about a recent patient experience of their own. In particular, I wanted to learn as patients, what behaviors made them feel most reassured? The results were compelling… When we are patients, we want confident employees, communication, listening, caring, and eye contact. None of these require a capital investment. Yet all require cultures that foster empathy, compassion, and accountability. In fact, we recently published research demonstrating the importance of culture on creating elevated patient experiences of care (The Imperative of Culture).
At HealthStream, we are committed to learning from the voices of the healthcare community and sharing best practices that equip organizations to make a meaningful difference. To that end, I am excited to announce that beginning with PX Week, Gregg Loughman, HealthStream’s General Manager and Vice President of Patient Experience Solutions, and I will launch a multi-month celebration to honor our clients’ successes with advancing cultures of patient-centered care. We will be traveling to client organizations to learn from and share patient experience bright spots that will create line of sight for others to benchmark. We want to walk alongside our healthcare community as we advance competencies that create better outcomes for those we are called to serve.
1 Wolf, J.(2017). Patient Experience: The New Heart of Leadership. Frontiers of Health Services Management, 33 (3), 3-16
2 Owens, K., Eggers, J., Keller, S., McDonald, A. (2017). The imperative of culture: a quantitative analysis of the impact of culture on workforce engagement, patient experience, physician engagement, value-based purchasing, and turnover. Journal of Healthcare Leadership, 9, 25-31