Patient Experience Week (PX Week), April 25-29, is a week-long celebration of the achievements, efforts, and lessons that have advanced the patient experience.
The annual event, established by The Beryl Institute, a global community of healthcare professionals and experience champions committed to transforming the human experience in healthcare, also recognizes the incredible contributions of dedicated healthcare professionals who work hard every day to elevate the patient experience in hospitals and health systems all around the globe.
During Patient Experience Week, we will highlight the incredible work of a few of many customers who have gone above and beyond to improve the patient experience.
Responding to feedback from patients, Texas Children’s Hospital revamped its appointment scheduling process and improved access to care. Patient feedback indicated that it was difficult to schedule an appointment, often requiring multiple phone calls, and extended wait times. In specialty departments, some patients faced a six to eight-month wait for an appointment.
Practices for scheduling and referral management varied substantially across the organization, with more than 60 different referral workflows. Texas Children’s implemented a data-informed improvement plan for access scheduling to ensure the availability of appointments for its patients, which in turn would increase patient satisfaction and drive growth for the organization.
As a result of their data-informed improvement efforts, Texas Children’s added more than 53,000 appointments annually, increasing revenue by $8.3 million that year. Additionally, these improvements led to Texas Children’s avoiding 12,000 no shows, facilitating the scheduling of 30,000 appointments online, and seeing a 39 percent improvement in patient satisfaction with the ease of scheduling.
Community Health Network (CHNw) recognized its hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection (HA-CDI) rate was higher than the national benchmark and sought to reduce it. Individual hospitals had deployed siloed improvement activities that aimed to reduce HA-CDI. However, without cohesive standard processes that address the root cause, those efforts were largely ineffective.
To facilitate scalable improvement, CHNw sought to access timely, meaningful data to allow decision makers to fully explore performance and identify areas of improvement. CHNw utilized a robust analytics system that allowed better access to the data needed to direct change. As a result, CHNw substantially reduced HA-CDI rates, improving patient safety and quality.
In one year, CHNw saw $855,000 in savings, the result of a 31.8 percent relative reduction in hospital-onset CDI rate per 10,000 patient days, with 33 HA-CDIs avoided. Accessing meaningful data also resulted in a 41.1 percent relative reduction in the number of labs per 10,000 patient days that did not meet the criteria for testing—nearly 1,000 fewer unnecessary lab orders.
Mission Health’s patient experience survey scores in the emergency department (ED) were significantly lower than desired. Extended wait times negatively impact patient experience and perceptions of quality of care.
To improve the wait-time experience, Mission changed to a quick registration process, implemented patient notifications via text messaging, and began notifying patients of anticipated delays due to volume surges, thus better managing expectations. Text messaging also improved patient privacy, as did remodeling the waiting room to create a private registration area.
In just over a year, Mission’s ED achieved the highest patient experience ratings it had ever received.
The efforts of Texas Children’s Hospital, CHNw, and Mission Health transformed the care process, resulting in measurable improvements to the patient experience. During PX Week, we celebrate these accomplishments and honor the nurses, physicians, support staff and executive professionals, who positively impact the patient experience every day.