As the year wraps up, we look back on 2013 with a sense of awe. The Experience Innovation Network has expanded to more than 25 organizations representing almost 400 hospitals, more than 3,000 outpatient clinics and specialty service centers, and almost half a million healthcare employees. These pioneers accomplished a lot in 2013, many standardizing around key experience practices such as purposeful rounding, clinically-oriented post-discharge phone calls, and infusing the voice of patients and frontline staff into improvement initiatives. We saw a big boost in engagement as dedicated physicians and nurses stepped up to lead their peers toward a more humanized healthcare experience. As we look ahead to 2014, we expect the experience landscape to continue to shift as organizations move from an approach of focusing on tactics to elevating experience to a top strategic priority. This shift will allow leaders to create the kind of culture building that creates a foundation for long-term, sustainable competitive advantage, and a level of flexibility and resiliency that will be critical to thriving in the changing healthcare environment.
Here at the Experience Innovation Network, we’re looking at 4 trends that will shape the experience landscape in 2014:
Maintaining staff morale in a time of cutbacks and uncertainty.
One of the few certainties in 2014 is that the economic squeeze will continue. As the at-risk portions of Medicare payments for Value-Based Purchasing and Readmissions Reductions increase, and as the Affordable Care Act brings more and initially sicker patients into the system, pressure to cut costs will accelerate. Organizations that successfully weather these changes will need to engage staff in new ways to help contain costs while not eroding culture and individual resiliency.
The importance of multidisciplinary teams and physician leadership.
Teamwork is not a new concept in healthcare. But its importance will rise in 2014 as organizations look to streamline processes, improve communication, and make meaningful emotional connections with patients and families. Physicians will play an essential role in leading and modeling change, driving accountability, and co-designing and championing solutions that improve the human experience while also driving clinical and financial results.
Managing the experience across the care continuum.
In 2014, outpatient care settings will continue to gain prominence in the overall care experiences. Patients and families will be less tolerant of care and information silos, and organizations will need to find solutions that help them navigate across care settings.
Engaging patients and families in meaningful projects.
As the stakes for experience improvement get higher, organizations will need to embed patient and family voice more deeply in their organizational DNA. This means moving beyond traditional patient family councils and surveys and instead engaging patients and family members in targeted improvement projects with well-defined goals and a clear beginning and end. In addition, patient and family voice needs to directly reach clinicians, administrators, leaders, and even boards to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.
We’re excited to continue working with the dedicated physicians, nurses, and administrative leaders who make the Experience Innovation Network such a powerful and change-oriented group. As always, we welcome your feedback on how to improve programming and provide the tools that help you discover big ideas, accelerate execution, and put the science behind the human experience of care.
Happy Holidays, and Best Wishes for a Healthy, and Humanized 2014!