The advancement of the patient experience remains a high priority for hospitals and medical groups. In an era where clinicians are experiencing immense levels of exhaustion and stress, how do we foster a culture where improving the patient experience is viewed as a restorative endeavor? Last Thursday, the Practicing Excellence team, led by Dr. Stephen Beeson, hosted a virtual roundtable that outlined three leader actions that can simultaneously improve the patient experience and the well-being of clinicians.
One proven way to mitigate care team exhaustion is by implementing a patient-centered culture that helps clinicians build meaningful and impactful connections with their patients. Physicians that were part of an authentic patient-centered culture were four times less likely to experience burnout symptoms compared to physicians who described their cultures as not patient-centric.¹ In a recent study, it was discovered that the advanced fulfillment of care teams in their work both reduced burnout measures and increased the patient experience by 1.4 points². While this is all compelling evidence that demonstrates the impact of patient connection on team contentment, it can be difficult to create a restorative culture without concrete and actionable steps.
Here are three proven actions that you can leverage to improve the patient experience while rejuvenating exhausted teams:
1. Build a local cause
Local leaders must pursue a shared cause, along with their team, to drive engagement and participation in their mission to advance the patient experience. A shared cause that manifests locally can fuel teams with unity, pride, clarity, identity, ownership, and innovation.
2. Building skills
Providing clinicians with their patient ratings and demanding improvement without giving them the proper tools to do so will not advance these metrics and will only amplify their exhaustion. Instead, create a coaching culture that equips clinicians and teams with the necessary skills and promote continuous learning.
3. Celebrating Progress
Celebrating progress is an accelerator to learning as well as an action that will sustain the benefits that arise from coaching care teams. Through stories and data, progress can be tracked by leaders and can be used to recognize care teams and showcase improvement. It also reinforces the goal of enhancing patient connection, leadership, team collaboration, safety, and wellness.
Impactful and meaningful connections that are built between care teams and their patients can restore team members in powerful ways. Where there is potential to build effective patient connections, health care leaders often turn to top-down leadership which can turn advancing patient experience measures into a burden. Instead, by establishing a local shared cause that is facilitated by local leaders and their teams, care team members can smoothly integrate patient experience initiatives into day-to-day operations and build meaningful connections with those they serve.
Practicing Excellence builds skills to drive outcomes in well-being, patient experience, and leadership effectiveness. Built for busy clinicians, our micro-learning solution delivers short, evidence-derived, video-based coaching to clinicians, leaders, and teams through our mobile app. We partner with some of the nation’s most prominent health systems and medical groups to deliver coordinated skill-building programs that provide measurable results. For more information about our roundtable on Advancing the Patient Experience in a World of Team Exhaustion please click here.
- Beeson, Stephen, et al. The Clinician Experience Research Project.
- Congiusta S, Ascher EM, Ahn S, Nash IS. The Use of Online Physician Training Can Improve Patient Experience and Physician Burnout. American Journal of Medical Quality. 2020;35(3):258-264. doi:10.1177/1062860619869833
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Marquez White is our Marketing Intern who is a rising junior and pre-med student at Princeton University. Marquez’s interests in the medical field stem from his curiosities about the advancements that are being made in health care.