Today marks the change of command at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune (NHCL) as outgoing Commanding Officer Captain David Lane, MD, FAAFP, hands over the reins to the incoming Capt. Rick Freedman. This time-honored military tradition happens roughly every two years at the North Carolina naval hospital, a leadership change equivalent in the civilian world to changing the CEO.
Nevertheless, NHCL remains steadfast in its commitment to improving the human experience for the active duty warriors, retirees, and their families that the hospital serves. For the past two years, Captain Lane has accelerated the hospitals’ patient experience movement, which was started by his predecessor. Under Captain Lane’s command NHCL has created a dedicated chief experience officer role, assessed staff engagement through a pulse survey, and implemented new patient and family services including the empowered patient checklist, healthy food options, Wi-Fi and charging stations. The hospital is also poised to pilot a medical scribe program later this fall, and is evaluating recorded discharge instructions.
More than any specific program, though, the command has engaged its military and civilian staff in new ways to boost dialog and engagement. “People are starting to understand what experience improvement is about,” says Commander Kimberly Taylor, NHCL’s chief experience officer. NHCL is recruiting a growing number of “Experience Enthusiasts” within the employee base and holding patient and family focus groups to build relationships and better understand the needs of the community it serves. The hospital is also working on a governance infrastructure and continuous improvement model that will ensure the focus on patient, family, physician, and staff experience continues through and beyond the upcoming leadership transition.
Under Captain Lane’s leadership the NHCL’s patient satisfaction scores have improved from the 37th percentile in October 2013 to the 92nd percentile in June 2014 – the highest in more than 12 years – thanks at least in part to his steadfast dedication and openness to innovation and new ideas.
Captain Lane’s focus on the broader aspects of self-care and out-of-the-box thinking will be reflected in his change of command ceremony, at which the food will be overseen by Chef Bill Barum. Captain Lane met Chef Barum at the Experience Innovation Network’s April 2013 CXO Roundtable where Chef Barum prepared a healthy and delectable meal using “distractionary flavors.” Captain Lane then invited Chef Barum to Camp Lejeune to teach the hospital’s culinary staff how to improve patient and staff wellbeing through food.
We hope we continue to have Captain Lane’s quiet enthusiasm and dry wit at future Experience Innovation Network events. Until then, we wish Captain Lane all the best in his future endeavors. And we look forward to continuing to support the men and women who serve at Naval Hospital Camp Lejuene. Ooh-rah!!