3 Tips for Building A Patient Experience Strategy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

We want to thank hospital and healthcare workers who are on the frontline during this worldwide pandemic right now. Everything they do is so important, and we truly appreciate their dedication and hard work. With that, it feels appropriate that I share today’s episode with Rick Evans, the SVP and Chief Experience Officer for the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

In this episode, you’ll hear about some of the tactics and strategies that Rick has employed at this esteemed hospital to improve the patient experience and to increase HCAHP scores. Improving the patient experience is a top priority in most hospitals and clinics. Over the years, leaders and practitioners have been working hard and exercising leadership bravery to help patients and employees feel more confident in the healthcare system. This is an episode you should really listen to in its entirety, even if you don’t work in healthcare!

Learn How to Connect the Dots for Patients

Rick, who’s been in healthcare for over 20 years, has seen first hand how “patient experience is primarily about communication.” He stresses the importance of individual and team communication, stating that “it’s how we connect the dots for patients and it’s less about happiness. It’s much more about feeling safe and confident in the care we provide. All of that happens in the workflow. It doesn’t happen with posters, buttons. slogans.”

As a leader, Rick has seen the value of having a cohesive workflow for staff members inclusive of nurses, transporters, and physicians, saying that “a good chief experience officer is a strategic leader.” He shares that he understood the hospital’s workflow by experiencing other roles in the organization; then he learned how to pick the right things to do in the right order.

For example, Rick explains that there had been a time where many patients experienced some confusion and frustration, following their discharge. Although patients received discharge papers and instructions, they were still unclear about their next steps at home—there was a disconnect. Rick and his team solved this problem by creating a basic envelope with “discharge instructions” clearly indicated on the envelope. His staff thoroughly explains what’s in the packet for the patients, ensuring that they understand how to care for themselves when they get home, and conduct follow-up calls.

Patient experience is primarily about communication. It's how we connect the dots for patients. -@cxorick, SVP CXO at @nyphospital #CX #healthcare Share on X

Create a Defined Plan of How You’ll Move the Needle

Are all of your teams aligned on the same metrics? Rick shares that at NewYork-Presbyterian, they have a structure in which all departments set annual target goals. This means that patient units and physician practices are all working with evidence-based structures that support their growth in moving the needle.

He states that they have a three-year plan in place to help them achieve their goals—which means there’s a deliberate plan in action for each year.  He says, “There are evidence-based best practices. So that’s really what’s been our successes, we have a plan. It’s very structured. It’s integrated with our other goals. And we, we stick to it. We don’t deviate. We keep our eye on the ball. Again, we iterate, but we don’t deviate.”

According to Rick, success is about “making sure the organization understands how we’re doing with these patient experience issues and metrics, and making sure that you’ve got the right strategy in place to move the needle over time.”

Success is about making sure the org. understands how we're doing with patient experience issues and metrics, and making sure that you've got the right strategy in place to move the needle over time. - @cxorick @nyphospital #CX Share on X

Define Your Organization’s Mission

Inspired by his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Rick realized NewYork-Presbyterian needed a credo similar to theirs. A credo is a set of behaviors, mostly about how staff should interact with each other. With permission, Rick worked with Mass General and his team to develop a NewYork-Presbyterian credo: “At NewYork-Presbyterian, every person, and every role counts.”

This credo enforces the notions that no matter what uniform someone wears in the hospital, they’re an important, contributing factor to its success and the role of uplifting patients. Rick shares that this credo has transformed the organization, providing a foundation for both difficult and pleasant conversation among employees.

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?

Rick says:

“I wish that I pushed harder and sooner for the role and the work to be structured the way we’ve got it. I wish I’d known how to do it a little quicker. And that I hadn’t had to learn from so many of my mistakes. But I think the reason why we’re doing so well now is that we’ve put it together correctly. And I wish I’d known that sooner.”

About Rick Evans

Over his 20 years in healthcare, Rick Evans has had responsibility for patient experience and has a proven track record of year over year improvement in these metrics. Over his career, he has also had responsibility for a wide range of hospital operations including overseeing nursing units, community health centers and programs, fund development functions, food service, housekeeping, laundry and others.  Rick brings this knowledge of operations to his work in patient experience.

Rick holds a Masters Degree in Theology from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg, NY.

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