What if patients designed experience surveys?

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Guest post by Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D., president of The Beryl Institute, where he specializes in organizational effectiveness, service excellence and high performance in healthcare.

In a recent Hospital Impact post, I shared the experience I had during the birth of our son this spring. I stressed an important point that continues to emerge in the many conversations I have with caregivers, patients and family members--the how trumps the what in patient experience success.

With all I believe to be central to the improvement of patient experience, I also have been increasingly aware of some gaps in the overall process itself and want to poke a bit at our accepted practices.

In conducting interviews for an upcoming paper exploring the measurement of patient experience, I thought of my first opportunity to receive (albeit indirectly) an HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey just weeks following our son's arrival. While I have addressed both the value and limitations of this survey, when helping my wife answer the questions I found many things I could not respond to.

So why could I not respond? It was not for lack of knowledge, but because certain things were not asked. There was no way to address the hows I experienced--for example, the incredible kindness and support provided by the housekeeper who served as the most effective and caring navigator of a stay for an incredibly nervous and sleep-deprived new dad.

With that, I continue to pose the question: What if patients and/or family members designed the HCAHPS and experience surveys--what questions do you think they would ask?

>> Read the full post at Hospital Impact