3 ways to improve the patient experience and hospital culture

Three techniques can help hospitals improve the patient experience, according to Hospitals & Health Networks.

Katie Owens, vice presient and practice leader of BLG in Pensacola, Florida, writes that providers must make clear to individual patients that their hospital experience is a priority, using techniques including:

"Personnel" attention: "Your personnel must take ownership in your hospital," Owens writes. "They must feel heard and respected and ultimately be a part of the conversation." On a scale of 1 to 5, providers should consistently rank the urgency of staff commitment to patient-centered excellence.

If a provider's teams cannot achieve scores of between four and five, Owen writes, they are likely experiencing obstacles to cultural transformation, including: lack of communication on mission and direction; insufficient staff ownership/buy-in; broken communication; insufficient rewards and recognition; lack of performance accountability; inadequate data collection; excessive satisfaction with the status quo; lack of commitment and visibility by leadership; and lack of trust and transparency.

Setting expectations: It is up to hospital leaders to set expectations with personnel, and it is similarly personnel's responsibility to set expectations with patients. They can do this by looking at the patient experience from the patient's perspective. Staff must remember that patients and providers may have different priorities in terms of their care based on different experiences.

Accountability: Accountabilities are indicators of outcome, Owens writes, and providers must work to establish patient experience accountability measures as comprehensive as their existing financial and quality measures.

There are many other ways for healthcare leaders to improve hospital culture as well, including building trust and establishing clear direction, FierceHealthcare previously reported. An August Hospital Impact post described the "three Ps" leaders must emphasize in patient experience: people, process and place.

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