Ascension Health has studied what impacts a patient’s experience with the goal of being able to consistently deliver the experience our patients want. Our research found that a positive experience is made up of six attributes in the three different categories, or realms, below:
Safe, Efficient, Evidence-based Care
- Clinical Reputation and Quality
Coordinated Efficient Processes
- Administrative Efficiency
- Comfortable, Convenient Environment
Emotional and Spiritual Support
- Compassionate, Respectful Care
- Communication and Empowerment
- Care Responsiveness
Of these attributes of patient experience, our research indicates that three—compassionate and respectful care, care responsiveness, and a clean and comfortable environment—have the greatest impact on our patients' likelihood to recommend an Ascension Health hospital.
Providing the Ascension Health Experience
Providing a consistent, exceptional experience requires that a number of important pre-conditions are in place. First, our leaders must be visible and connected to the internal community of associates and community at large. The organization must embrace people and experience as top priorities and there must be strong culture of teamwork. In addition, front line associates must be both empowered and equipped to provide the experience our patients desire.
Working with our Health Ministries, we have identified a four-part plan of action to support a culture capable of delivering the kind of culture our patients want and deserve. That plan includes:
- Staff Empowered and Equipped to Solve Problems: Use process improvement to empower staff to put patients’ needs first, raise productivity, and eliminate waste.
- Emotional, Social and Spiritual Support: Make emotional, social and spiritual support an intentional part of the “Ascension Health Way” through workshops and other training and education.
- Real-time Closed Loop Feedback: Provide the means for associates to receive and respond to feedback from patients and families in a more real-time manner.
- Aligned People Practices: Implement human resource policies and practices that reinforce delivery of the desired experience including selecting and recognizing the best talent.
Measuring the Patient Experience
Ascension Health uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as the overarching metric to track its success in providing the desired patient experience. This loyalty metric, based on the familiar “likelihood to recommend” question, was chosen based on significant research that shows a correlation of this metric with market growth in other industries and in healthcare. It is also increasingly important to payers and a part of most surveys including the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).
Descriptors of the Patient Experience
The information below helps to better describes the attributes that comprise the patient experience as defined through the research of Ascension Health.
Clinical Reputation and Quality
- Doctors and the hospital have the best reputation for your condition.
- The hospital has the latest and greatest treatments and equipment.
- Registration, scheduling and billing services are handled most efficiently.
- You are able to leave the hospital as quickly as possible on the day of your discharge.
Comfortable, Convenient Environment
- The hospital is the cleanest, best maintained and most comfortable.
- The hospital is easiest to get around in and offers helpful signs.
- The hospital does everything it can to be convenient to you.
Compassionate, Respectful Care
- Staff always makes you feel that they care about you.
- Staff is the best at making you feel that you can trust them and depend on them.
- Nurses and other staff appear happiest and have the most positive attitude.
- Someone is always available to talk to you and your family about your fears and concerns.
- Staff is the most polite, introduces him/herself, and knows your name.
Communication and Empowerment
- Staff is the best at letting you know what is wrong with you and your medical care.
- Staff or doctor always tells you when you can expect to go home as soon as possible.
- Staff is the best at letting you and your family know what is going on, how long things will take and why there are wait times.
- Staff does the best job of listening to you. You are given all the information you need to make decisions about your care.
- You and your family are always involved in decisions about your care.
- The staff manages your pain very well.
- Doctors and nurses are very good at communicating with each other about your needs and treatment.
- Nurses are the most responsive and prompt when you need something.
- You never have to wait unnecessarily.