Bon Secours trustees help boost patient experience

boardroom
By involving the board in its efforts, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System was able to target broader changes and raise its patient experience scores quickly.

When efforts to improve the patient experience at Bon Secours Baltimore Health System stalled, the hospital’s board members got involved. Their support quickly drove positive change.

In an interview with H&HN, Shelly Buck, COO and chief nursing executive at Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, described how the board helped move her organization from a 10% overall satisfaction rating to a 71% rating.

When existing efforts to generate a more positive patient experience plateaued, she says, the hospital laid out the existing data and processes for the board to examine. Buck credits the broad range of experience among board members, particularly those with backgrounds outside of medicine, with helping to identify a new plan of attack. 

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“It wasn’t just a nursing issue, it wasn’t just a clinical issue. It was a whole-house issue,” Buck said.

Buck offered advice for other hospitals implementing initiatives to improve the patient experience:

  • Get buy-in from all of the clinical staff by developing the plan from the bottom up. Buck emphasized the importance of tapping into the qualities of compassion and caring, which typically motivate people to enter clinical practice.
  • Monitor engagement efforts and follow up to keep things on track.
  • Celebrate wins to reward staff and maintain momentum.