The Patient Experience

The Patient Experience

The patient experience is critical to our future. The fundamental challenge before us is creating and nurturing a culture that embraces the patient experience. With value-based purchasing, we are now being held financially accountable for clinical and patient satisfaction outcomes. The patient experience now directly affects our revenue. Our culture, based on sensing the needs of others in a place where people care, calls for all of us to deliver an excellent patient experience always, every day, to every patient.

Our culture, still maturing, calls for all of us to work together as a team to consistently evaluate, adjust, and improve the patient experience. Improving the patient experience requires all of us to work together in framing a patient experience strategy that ensures an “always” impression and perception in all areas within the organization.

The question is, how do we create a culture that promotes consistent excellent patient experience? It starts by also asking, “Why are we here?” The answer is that we are here because we care – we care about others, we care about our organization, we care about our future, and we care about our image and our pride in being the best. The answer to the first question is that it starts with all of us working together for a common purpose to become better.

Next, we need to come together to evaluate our Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. Every department must start assessing the HCAHPS scores and developing tactics to improve. We also must work across all departments, for we are all connected in the delivery of the patient experience.

In reviewing HCAHPS, everyone must know, understand, and support improving the eight patient experience dimensions:

1. Nurse communication

2. Doctor communication

3. Hospital staff responsiveness

4. Pain management

5. Medicine communication

6. Hospital cleanliness and quietness

7. Discharge information

8. Overall hospital rating

Whether we are in a clinical or non-clinical role, we all have an impact on the HCAHPS scores as reflected in “Hospital Staff Responsiveness” and “Overall Hospital Rating.” We must realize that we are all in this culture together, and we must work together to systematically improve the patient experience.

We can improve the patient experience by the simple act of showing human kindness. We can improve the way we communicate by first addressing the patient’s anxiety, using the Studer AIDET concept:

1. Acknowledge

2. Introduce

3. Duration

4. Explanation

5. Thank you

If we all realize that patients in the healthcare setting are anxious, we can go a long way by acknowledging and assuring the patient that the culture is safe and caring. How we greet, introduce and relate to the patient is key to setting the stage for an excellent patient experience.

We must address waiting times — waiting is a killer to the life of developing an excellent patient experience. We must address patient flow, handoff communication, and internal response time within and among all departments. We must do a better job of explaining what is happening, and we must do a better job of navigating and narrating the patient care experience.

As we look forward to the New Year, I ask that we all unite our loyalty to nurture our culture that better serves the patient experience. Our loyalty to this cause and to our organization is needed to pursue excellence. Our loyalty must be to a higher purpose to pursue an attitude of caring about the well-being of others. Our loyalty to this higher purpose is reflected in a famous poem — In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below. 


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe;

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.



Ed Piper, Ph.D.

Former President & Chief Executive Officer, 2000-2016

CEO Holiday Post 2018
Autumn: a season of excitement and giving thanks
Vacations are good for you. Really.
Health, healing, hope and heart ... the many "H's" in our Hospital
Flu crisis brings out your passion for service
Welcoming the New Year
Your Spirit of Giving shines every day
What are you thankful for?
The Consciousness of Leadership
Safety and Change Management
Provider Engagement and the Future
Accountability as a path to engagement
Personal and professional accountability
Keys to awareness and perceptions
Thank You, High Performers
Communicate your passion to our patients
The OMH Family
New Year's Blessings
We are all ambassadors
Our staff as a strategic resource
Partners in care
A whole new world
Diversity in the healthcare setting
A Call for Clinical Integration
Where we go next
The rising tide of ethical conflict
Our albatross: 30-day readmission rate
A Safe Culture, A Calling from the Heart
Minister to suffering
Greeting the rising sun of the bold new year
Population Health - Coordination of Care
Awaiting a New Dawn
Facing what lies before us
Crossing the Rubicon
Where have all the hospitals gone?
A promise to keep
Spring of hope
The uncharted waters ahead: navigating the ACA
Fiscal year 2014 will be a tough one
Facing the dawn of a new era
The year 2012
The Patient Experience
The incoming tide
The new frontier - a clarion call to act
Building trust during difficult times
Letter from the 2012 Annual Report