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Becker's Hospital Review: Exemplary patient experience at Children's Mercy

In collaboration with NRC Health

As the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, hospitals and health systems are placing a renewed focus on patient experience. 

During a May Becker's Hospital Review podcast sponsored by NRC Health, Mandy Riemer, manager, patient experience at Children's Mercy (Kansas City, Mo.), and Evan Sheaff, associate vice president of customer strategy at NRC Health, discussed mindsets, strategies and concrete steps that healthcare organizations can adopt to ensure a consistently positive patient experience.

Three key takeaways from the podcast were:

To elevate patient experience as a strategic pillar, build it into the structure and culture of the organization. At Children's Mercy, the executive team has framed patient experience as one of five True North pillars. "Having patient experience as a standalone pillar means that it is not just about measuring satisfaction, but about something that is being reported on from the bottom up every day," Ms. Riemer said. That includes greeting people warmly when they walk into the hospital, conversing at eye level with patients, remembering that patients are not just a diagnosis or a referral and treating them with concern for what matters to them beyond the clinical setting.

Unfavorable patient experiences pose a risk to healthcare organizations' brands. Consumers have choices when it comes to their care and which healthcare provider they go to. An unfavorable patient experience can easily damage an organization's brand and encourage individuals to choose another provider the next time they need care.

"We know that insurance is a powerful motivator for what brings individuals into our hospitals and health systems, but the second highest motivator is a previous experience and their past connection with you," Mr. Sheaff said.

Providing consistently positive patient experiences depends on listening to patients and empowering front-line teams. Beyond making patient experience a strategic priority, healthcare leaders need to effectively enable care teams to deliver exceptional experiences. A big part of that is making sure clinicians have access to patient feedback received in response to surveys or in other circumstances, which often highlights positive and negative aspects. That feedback can then be used to shape how care is delivered in the future and to boost staff morale.

Read the full article via Becker's Hospital Review

Listen to the podcast

Patient experience at Children's Mercy