The Patient Experience

I am sure many of us have been in the hospital or other health care facility and experienced less than satisfactory care. Quality of care isn't just about how the doctor or nurse performs their duties, but everyone you come in contact with. As Mike Neiss said in an earlier blog, we would call these encounters "touchpoints." I can recall being in the hospital and the janitor was mumbling and stumbling around my room early one morning. He seemed to be indifferent to the fact that I was there. Or perhaps it was the technician who came in to draw blood (never a fun activity), who scored zero in bedside manners. There are tons of stories out there, I'm sure.

But recently at the Cleveland Clinic, they have decided to give the total patient experience a high priority. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the clinic has hired a person to be their Chief Experience Officer, and her job is to ensure that the patient receives a great experience throughout the process of the hospital stay. The process starts long before a patient arrives in the hospital, unless it is an emergency, so this new CEO has her hands full. But what a wonderful challenge to take on!

What suggestions would you offer this new CEO (or, as Tom calls it, cXo) for improving the patient experience?