How leaders can foster better patient experience

Although staff plays a major role in patient experience, creating a culture of service excellence depends on hospital leadership.

Therefore, hospital leaders must consistently demonstrate their commitment to providing exceptional patient experiences, setting an example through their actions, according to Hospitals & Health Networks Daily.

To ensure excellence in the caring environment, leaders also must put the right people on patient care teams. For example, patient-facing staff should include workers who display compassion and understanding, the article noted.

They also must shift their perspective to better understand how patients perceive their care and hospital visit. Some CEOs at HCA hospitals are taking the concept a step further, posing as "secret shoppers" to see service from the patients' perspective, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

"I can assure you every ceiling tile with a water stain got replaced," HCA Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Perlin said.

With hospitals looking to achieve strong HCAHPS scores, leaders can't be afraid to assess and accept performance metrics, according to H&HN Daily.  With that in mind, Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos "Toby" encourages annual professional reviews in healthcare and has his organization evaluate every physician every year, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Leaders also can look to peer institutions to identity opportunities to improve patient experience, noted H&HN Daily.

Jason A. Wolf, executive director of The Beryl Institute and Hospital Impact blogger highlighted the need for stronger patient experience leadership.

"In my visits with healthcare organizations, I have found where there is a leader, there is clear focus, defined strategy and expanded levels of commitment," he wrote in a March blog post.

For more:
- here's the H&HN Daily article
- read the Bloomberg Businessweek article