NYC Health + Hospitals avoids consultants for patient experience overhaul

New York City's public hospital system outlined a new five-point strategy to improve the patient experience and overhaul its corporate culture. Unlike many other systems undergoing transformation efforts, NYC Health + Hospitals is not turning to consultants, according to Crain's New York Business.

Roughly 300 NYC Health + Hospitals clinical staff employees — union members among them — convened to develop a Patient Experience Action Plan. While the plan is not yet finalized, the health system's CEO Ram Raju, MD, described the plan's framework.

The Patient Experience Action Plan is a five-year plan with five segments: "anticipating and meeting patient needs; engaging the workforce so employees feel supported and personally accountable; providing quality, coordinated care in a culturally sensitive way; expanding access so that the system can serve more patients and investing in technology," according to Crain's.

Success will be measured through improvement in Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores. According to Press Ganey's most recent measures of NYC Health + Hospital's patient satisfaction, about 60 percent of hospital patients and 70 percent of outpatients are satisfied with their care. Dr. Raju's targets are 80 percent satisfied for inpatient care and 93 percent satisfied for outpatient care, according to Crain's.

Earlier this year, Dr. Raju announced his "2020 Vision" plan for NYC Health + Hospitals to improve its financials. Its main objectives include increasing the annual patient base from 1.4 million to 2 million, doubling MetroPlus Health Plan's enrollment to 1 million people and grow the percentage of MetroPlus members who use the hospital system as their primary care provider from 50 percent to 80 percent, according to the report. Central to all of these goals is improving the patient experience, Dr. Raju said.

However, Dr. Raju acknowledges the difficulty in obtaining the high degree of cultural buy-in necessary to transform the hospital system's corporate culture, which is essential for enhanced patient satisfaction.

"There is enthusiasm and energy, because we asked for their opinions. They had a role in crafting this," Dr. Raju said, according to Crain's. "I need to explain to my employees how everything, especially the patient experience, is connected to 2020 Vision, and moving toward being a goal-based organization."

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