Coverage & Commentary

At HLTH, 3 patient experience officers indicate emergence of new era of patient engagement

Jack Stockert, managing director at Health2047 and who was the panel moderator, asked them to share some examples to illustrate their feelings about enhancing the patient experience. Dubovsky offered a quote from a former head of spiritual care, underscoring health’s transitory nature: “Cedars Sinai is a place where the temporarily well take care of the temporarily unwell.”

Boissy talked about one of her multiple sclerosis patients, who had been hospitalized for an infection. She found him crying in his room and soon learned his son had been killed but was still on life support at another Cleveland hospital. She had the son transferred so her patient could say goodbye.

“This is about recognizing the work we do is incredibly human, and it haunts people,” said Boissy. “Whether it’s cool technology or simply recognizing that we have human beings delivering human being care, we will go much further, faster.”

In keeping with the conference’s attention towards precision medicine, Dubovsky discussed precision engagement.

“We’ve convinced ourselves that every single patient discharge from our facility needs the exact same survey at the exact same time with the exact same questions…It just makes no sense.”

He wants to reverse-engineer this approach, starting with the patients and determining which questions are most appropriate for a woman who just delivered a baby or someone with stage 4 cancer.

The panel agreed they have a long way to go, but expressed optimism that cultures are changing and they will ultimately get there.

“So, for the first time we have a clearly articulated strategy about what we’re hoping to accomplish,” said Boissy. “I feel a tremendous amount of hope around all of us…united around what we’re hoping to accomplish in this strategy and then building it out.”