What if patients designed experience surveys?

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