As health care continues to transition to a consumer-centered model, improvements in care delivery, particularly the patient experience, have become increasingly vital to the success of organizations. Pam Guler, vice president and chief experience officer (CXO) for Adventist Health System (AHS), recently shared AHS's perspective on this subject in a feature article for Frontiers of Health Services Management, the quarterly journal of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Frontiers has more than 7,000 subscribers consisting primarily of senior level health care executives. In its Spring 2017 issue, under the topic of "The Patient Experience: What It Means, Why It Matters," authors discussed the impact of patient experience on performance at the organizational level, and on health care reform at the national level.
In her article, titled "Patient Experience: A Critical Indicator of Healthcare Performance," Guler wrote about the three critical factors in improving patient experience: prioritizing employee culture, engaging physicians and standardizing practices, as well as specific approaches and tactics that have been implemented to drive success at AHS. While ACHE asked specifically about the efforts underway within the hospital setting, Guler also stressed the importance of a focus on experience across the care continuum.
"It was an honor for our system to be invited to contribute to the patient experience edition of ACHE's journal," Guler said. "My aim was to submit something that represented Adventist Health System well, and that honestly reflected on our organization's patient experience journey. As they read the article, I hope that leaders from hospital and health systems across the country are able to take and apply some of the approaches that have proven successful for us over the years."
Guler noted in the article that AHS's patient experience journey is marked by a commitment to whole-person health, which is expressed through CREATION Health, a set of eight principles—Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust in God, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook and Nutrition—that influence patient interactions.