Insights from a Keynote Speaker: Optimizing the Healthcare Experience

healthcare experience is excellent

Wish you were at the Excellence in Healthcare Conference? So do we! But, since you’re not, here’s a taste of what you’re missing on healthcare experience.

M. Bridget Duffy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Vocera Communications, Inc., presented, “Optimizing the Healthcare Experience” on Thursday morning. What did attendees learn? Here are some high-level topics to think about.

  1. It’s time to institute The Quadruple Aim by restoring joy to the practice of medicine.
  2. “The lean-ification” and now “app-ification” of healthcare are exhausting physicians and nurses.
  3. Optimizing efficiency and restoring empathy are key to improving the patient experience.
  4. Meaningless paperwork and the transition to electronic medical records (EMR) are suppressing patients’ stories and     creating physician burnout.
  5. The First Impression Matters. Don’t ask about co-pays and living wills before asking about your patients’ greatest fears and  concerns during the check-in process.
  6. You’re on your way to being successful as a leader if everyone in your organization treats patients as if they’re loved ones.
  7. Safety is expected. Map the gaps of the human experience with efficiency plus empathy to truly differentiate your organization.
  8. Excellence in care impacts the human experience by improving loyalty and growth.
  9. Create a culture of healing and compassion.
  10. Patients want a seamless experience of care from first impression to last.
  11. We need to change our thinking about where we drive innovation. Simplify healthcare for everyone.
  12. Communication is the number one thing broken.
  13. Focus on the culture and improving communication and the other things will follow.

Dr. Duffy closed the session with 10 Ways to Improve the Healthcare Experience:

  1. See people as human beings, not as diseases.
  2. Give Informed Hope to patients. What are your goals? What are your fears and/or concerns? What support do you need? What can we do to reassure you about the things you are concerned with?
  3. Address the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families by introducing “Code Lavender” as a standard procedure. Code Lavender is a rapid-response team that resuscitates the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of your team and patients.  Create a healing services team made up not only of chaplain services, but also of physicians, nurses, and staff from integrative medicine, palliative care, dietary and environmental services to deploy these services.
  4. Create Sacred Moments every time you touch a patient. Improve fractured relationships between doctors and nurses. Improve broken communication and processes. Use your data to get to the root cause and then hardwire improvement processes.
  5. Design a culture of compassion. We work in a field of human-to-human interaction. Training each other to connect and communicate more effectively impacts quality, safety and teamwork.
  6. Restore the patient narrative. We need to figure out how to listen to or hear the patient’s voice. We need to hear what matters most to the patient. We also need to hear from each member of the team caring for the patient. Patients are equal partners. Put them in the trenches and let them tell you where things are broken.
  7. Deploy technologies that enable healing. There are human-centered technologies that simplify and speed up care. Amp up team communication to help nurses spend more quality time at the patient bedside.
  8. Ask patients how they want information. Provide easy-to-understand status updates and test results and clearly explain the process they are going through. Medical professionals should never communicate a diagnosis of cancer while patients are driving alone in their cars, for example. Ask up front whom they want with them when their results are in, and find out when and how they want to hear their results.
  9. Address the well-being of caregivers. Nurses, physicians and other members of the care team must be taken care of so they can take care of patients.
  10. Know what industry you are in. Human-to-Human. H2H.

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