Driving excellence in the patient experience arena: Q&A with 2 Nemours leaders

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Nemours Children's Health System is focused on continuing to evolve its patient experience efforts. Here, Tina Arcidiacono, administrative director of patient experience and Peggy Greco, PhD, medical director of patient experience, discuss some of the lessons they have learned and the importance of engagement among all stakeholders.

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What is the most important lesson you have learned about delivering excellent patient experience?

Dr. Peggy Greco: Nemours has had a deliberate and specific program to optimize patient experience for 15 years via a combination of continuous improvement, service excellence and effective communication. A key lesson learned was the importance of fully integrating the clinical perspective into our efforts. When clinicians are feeling engaged, it is likely that we will deliver outstanding patient experiences. Sustaining a commitment to excellent patient experience requires the ongoing leadership and involvement of our doctors, nurses and other providers.

Q: What are some ways in which you continue to drive excellence in patient experience?

Ms. Tina Arcidiacono: Providers and colleagues across Nemours continue to provide feedback that we've incorporated into our new model focused on our experience and understanding of the correlation between engaged associates, both clinical and administrative, and patient satisfaction. Nemours' current approach to patient experience includes integrating these lessons learned in a new co-director structure for our patient experience function led by me, as administrative director for patient experience, and Dr. Peggy Greco, as medical director for patient experience. We both have enterprisewide responsibilities, reporting to human resources.

Q: What has been the most successful patient experience initiative at your organization?

PG: Our multidisciplinary improvement project resulted in an increase in satisfaction scores [in the Press Ganey patient satisfaction survey] from the 75th percentile in 2012 to the 98th percentile by the end of 2014. Further, clinician satisfaction also increased, in significant part due to the ongoing involvement and engagement of our clinicians in patient experience improvement efforts.

We constantly assess the ways in which we consider the perspectives of our patients, families, clinicians and associates. We find that higher levels of engagement lead to greater success.

Q: What excites you most about the future of patient experience?

TA: Our team is excited about our evolving patient experience model, particularly as Nemours moves toward value-based care. We recognize our existing skills and strengths and encourage associates — every day, at all levels — to demonstrate and celebrate how we put the patient experience first.

More articles on patient engagement:
Helping patients feel whole: Q&A with AdventHealth CXO Pam Guler
Lurie Children's nurse raises funds to donate gaming devices to patients
It's not all about the patient, Vidant Health CXO says 


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