Katie Owens - Healthcare Speaker and Executive Coach

Lead Author, The HCAHPS Imperative for Patient-Centered Excellence

Tag: HEI

20 New Year Tips to Help You Elevate the Patient Experience in a More Efficient and Effective Manner

With 2016 coming to a close, I thought I would include 20 tips for 2017 to help elevate the patient experience in a more efficient and effective manner. I like to call it #PXHACKS!

Wishing you a happy New Year that will bring you greater heights of success and prosperity.  -Katie

  1. Ask your team what made them feel most reassured when they have been a patient. Rate your department on those criteria.
  2. Set a measurable, time-bound patient experience department goal. Strive to achieve a target that links to your organizational goal.
  3. Ask your staff to take Patient Experience Survey most related to their work environment. Educate how patients hold us accountable
  4. Create a list of Zero Tolerance words (short staffed). Engage your team to turn negative words into reassurance.
  5. Engage high achievers as champions in Patient Experience journey-those motivated & passionate- let them create momentum with you.
  6. We are always onstage with the Always Patient Experience-Compassion, Verbal, Non-verbal Cues.
  7. Upon visit, have admissions ask patients and families what is most important for their care. Use whiteboard to document.
  8. You are empowered. If you see trash pick it up, greet colleagues, patient and families with eye contact and a hello.
  9. Sit at eye level when communicating important information.
  10. Narrate your care and process. Never assume patients and families understand what you are doing and why.
  11. Always reinforce your patients and their families are in good hands with you and your organization.
  12. RELATE w/ every patient: Reassure, Explain, Listen, Answer, Take Action & Narrate Care, Express Appreciation.
  13. Block 30 minutes every week to walk in the shoes/crutches of your patients. See & feel patient experience from their perspective.
  14. Set Expectations early and often. Remember every person in your care is not used to the role of patient.
  15. Reward & recognize employees for going above & beyond for Patient Experience. No one ever feels over recognized at the end of each week.
  16. Give staff feedback about their performance. Share Survey results, patient experience comments and rounding feedback.
  17. Seek patient and family feedback when implementing programs. Let the voice of your healthcare community guide you.
  18. We miss the mark with Hourly Rounding & Bedside Report. It is not about the checklist or task but patient engagement and empowerment.
  19. Go on a ‘gurney journey’ to empathize with your patients and design improvements.
  20. Establish PX competencies for individuals who wear badges across the care Train and validate behavior.

What are your 2017 #PXHACKS (Patient Experience) Tips? Send me your feedback. If you enjoyed this post you may also like the article titled, “Can We Afford to Stay in Our Lanes to Achieve Patient Experience Excellence?”

 

Make Time to Stay Engaged this Holiday Season

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. With the holiday season upon us and the hustle and bustle of getting it “all done,” it’s easy to focus on the areas that aren’t working and the times we feel we are less than perfect. In our busyness, we can soon forget the moments that bring us joy. We should all be still for a moment and be reminded of why our professions in healthcare are so profound. Two influences impacted my focus for this November blog: a lunch outing with my family and a recent interview I had with Win Howard, CEO Asante Three Rivers Medical Center.

My family recently visited one of our favorite waterfront restaurants on Fort Walton Beach, The Gulf. While trying to enjoy my lunch I was also entertaining my rambunctious four-year-old son when suddenly I was captivated by a sign that steered my attention.

Win Howard

So many times, I hear leaders, staff, and providers experiencing burnout…overwhelmed with the “to do”s, frustrated by the growing documentation and protocols, the heightened emotions faced with the rising expectations of patient care. Yet, in my experience, the best days we have are when we can look back on any given day and see the good that happened and that we were able to share with those we touched. What I love about this message is we get to choose… We get to decide each day how we want to spend 1440 minutes in 24 hours. Do we want to spend it doing good for others or live in frustration and anguish? I bet for all of us who have been patients or loved ones of patients, we want every single person to be engaged and focused on making our experience one filled with compassion and high-quality care.

We found in our HealthStream Benchmarking Study on healthcare workforce engagement, that leaders are three times more engaged than their direct reports. We have to find ways to create daily inspiration and reconnect our teams to purpose. Here are a few ideas to create engagement despite our distractions.

Put excellence on a pedestal

Seek out what is working well. Begin each staff meeting with thanksgiving, reward, and recognition. Ask team members about moments made them proud. Ask patients what has made their visit or stay excellent. Get specific details so you can share with your team. There are plenty of times to address areas of improvement for quality, patient experience, and financial performance. Try your best to create environments where you build on your bright spots while you close gaps in other areas.

Obtain and share stories

In my interview with Win Howard, Win talks about the profound experiences that have impacted his leadership in creating a more patient-centered culture at Asante. Win is an accomplished CEO with high levels of employee engagement and patient experience outcomes, designations for patient quality, yet when he speaks about the moments that have created the most memorable experiences, they are ones of care and compassion- especially at the most difficult times.

Create visual cues and contagious experiences

Keeping focused amidst distraction requires attention, yet when you enlist others you get a contagious movement. Enlist your teams to have compassionate scavenger hunts. Take pictures using your mobile device to bring back examples from your daily activities or life outside of work (of course in compliance with your digital and social technology policies).

As we move into the last month of the year, let’s make demonstrable gains to restore engagement and put the culture we want at the forefront. There is no time to wait until this becomes a New Year’s resolution.

To request the full report of HealthStream’s Benchmarking Study please visit my contact page.

 

Creating a Culture of Accountability – Where Do You Stand?

accountability

If you want to achieve world-class levels of performance in the patient experience (or any other key performance measures) you must create a culture of accountability in leaders for achieving results and ultimately aligning the actions and behaviors of staff and physicians to help reach desired outcomes. HealthStream Engagement Institute has coached nearly 60,000 leaders, staff, and physicians over the last 12 months and, through that coaching, we have seen some interesting trends:

Yet, when we ask leaders if we could tell the difference between their high, solid, and under-achieving performers based on their annual evaluations, we overwhelmingly hear a common response: “No.” This problem is so pervasive that on our HEI patient-centered excellence survey of nearly 25,000 responses, the lowest scoring items include tolerance for poor performers and employee input leads to change. These gaps are magnified because organizations are allowing poor performers to continue undermining success. Meanwhile, leaders fail to engage and recognize their high performers. You can put any performance system in place. What is typically missing is how to establish the right accountability for outcomes. In our work with America’s hospitals and health systems, we find four crucial elements to understanding your strengths and gaps for creating a roadmap to sustainable accountability.

• Selection and Retention
• Workforce Development
• Performance Management
• Measurement

What is Your Snapshot?

The following items are a limited portion of the evaluation process that HEI uses to determine the state of organizational accountability. Take a look and see how your organization scores.

accountability

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT

Phelps Memorial Hospital CenterSleepy Hollow, NY

Phelps Memorial Hospital Center (PMHC) began a journey of transforming patient experience in February 2012, beginning with HEI’s Patient-Centered Excellence Assessment. That process provided them with a roadmap to improvement, part of which included enhancing their methods of leadership development and creating accountability for performance. Each level of leadership, from executives to frontline supervisors, has embraced their roles and responsibilities and committed to a long-term investment in their culture. As a result, PMHC has experienced drastically improved outcomes in employee engagement and the patient experience.

accountability

High-performing organizations create an environment of accountability where their top talent is aligned and engaged to produce the right results. This type of culture is pervasive throughout the continuum of employment, one which starts with the application and interview process and continues throughout the life cycle of an employee. An environment that is geared towards maximizing the potential of each member of its team and empowers them to improve things for themselves and those they serve will put your organization in the best position for success.

Printed Summer 2014, Healthcare Workforce Advisor

HealthStream.com/pxadvisor