Providers look to physician leadership, IT to boost patient experience

As patient experience officers become an increasingly important part of hospital operations, healthcare organizations also have started to give physician leaders and health information technology (IT) bigger roles in the process, according to a survey of chief experience officers from Experience Innovation Network.

Researchers polled 96 experience leaders at or above director level across the United States and Canada as well as more than 30 executives who hold the title of vice president or higher. The report's authors sought to address three key themes:

  • Cross-organizational patient experience improvement alignment
  • Method of addressing obstacles to system-wide patient-experience improvement efforts
  • Widespread successful strategies for improving patient experience

A plurality of respondents (29 percent) named visible physician leaders as the best way to engage physicians in the experience improvement process, followed by feedback and data (19 percent), incentive alignment (13 percent), and training and tools (12 percent).

Survey respondents also indicated widespread use of health IT to address patient experience, including alarms management systems, leadership rounding platforms, and compliment and complaint management systems. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said their organizations either have or will integrate patient experience data into enterprise data warehouses.

"A significant part of my time is spent looking at technology," Cathy Harmer, system director of experience at Main Line Health in Radnor, Pennsylvania, said in the report. "It is really important. We are very close to putting in an iPad-based video remote interpretation service for 24/7 access to language support. I want a bedside system to provide feedback and education, plus provide education post discharge. That is huge."

Respondents also agreed data transparency is vital to improving patient experience, echoing concerns from health industry groups that say lack of transparency contributes to care delays and errors. For example, Tom Malasto, chief experience officer at Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, said in the report that his organization has opened a central pricing office to ensure accurate estimates.

To learn more:
- download the survey results (registration required)