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"The real measures have to come from the heart not ROI."
That is the message that Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., shared as he opened the Cleveland Clinic's 2014 Patient Experience Empathy and Innovation Summit on May 19. Despite all the metrics that have descended upon providers and the carrots and sticks that sometime spur interest in patient experience, it really comes down to measures from the heart or doing the right thing.
When I speak at various conferences and hospital leadership events, I dummy down my message about patient experience--simply, we over-complicate it. We need to step back, catch our breath and use common sense. Here are some nonhealthcare examples:
I attended a Health Affairs briefing for its April issue entitled "The Long Arm of Alzheimer's Disease." It was eye opening.
Many participants discussed a cure for the disease, but some presenters clearly understood that a cure could be a long time away--living with the disease is the bigger issue. When we look at people living with the disease, it's not just about patient care, but also their direct caregivers and other family members. It calls for new and perhaps unconventional partnerships.
For example, Laurie Ryan, the program director of Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials, National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health, discussed clinical trial recruitment and the need to find people who are "younger" and not manifesting the disease.
By now you have probably read about my saga.
Part of settling mom into her new residence was arranging for her first visit with a new primary care physician. Here is a little bit about how it went: The physician looked over her records before coming into the room. At 92, mom has a litany of ailments and medications, but using a walker has been her only compromise in recent years. When the physician entered, he quickly dispensed with the clinical aspects of her care.
This headline is not for a job listing. But it should be one you seriously consider.
I and a number of colleagues--from fellow Hospital Impact blogger Anthony Cirillo and first named Chief Experience Officer (CXO) Bridget Duffy, M.D.--continue to stress the importance of having a senior experience leader.
Early investigations at The Beryl Institute showed that organizations possessing a focused senior experience leader tended to outperform others on standard experience surveys. More so, our benchmarking research and surveys from other organizations reinforce that patient experience remains a top priority for healthcare leaders.
This month's blog post extends from both my January and February posts. In January, I shared how short-sighted financial decisions hurt patient experience.
In February, I discussed my new role as primary caregiver to my mom, suggesting that instead of focusing on patient experience, we should look at the human experience.
One comment on the January post serves as a good segue for the rest of this piece.
"Health and wellness, just as death and dying, affect all of us. Clinicians and administrators share in the wins and defeats in healthcare. As nurses, we need to be in the mix, collaborating with various stakeholders, while holding the hand of another human being to ease their suffering."
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