Michigan Medicine's Keith Gran on delivering a consistent care experience

Keith Gran, chief patient experience officer at Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine, discusses the health system's patient experience priorities and why technology is key for ensuring consistency in experience.

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

Question: What are your key responsibilities as chief patient experience officer?

Keith Gran: Here at Michigan Medicine, we are committed to delivering an ideal experience to every patient each time they enter our system, regardless of service, complexity or ability to pay. Reflecting both our core values of caring, teamwork, integrity and innovation, as well as our principles of diversity and inclusion, we have four priorities areas in patient experience. These include physician communication, referring provider experience, empathy and respect and environment of care.

All of our work revolves around the patient's voice and needs. We have over 1,000 patient advisers and 27 patient and family advisory committees that guide all of our strategy to ensure our efforts are appropriately addressing patient needs.

Q: What is the No. 1 challenge you are facing in your role and how are you tackling it?

KG: I would say the biggest challenge is delivering a system approach to improving areas of patient experience so that a consistent experience can be delivered. Our goal this year is to develop a three-to five-year strategic plan for patient experience that takes a systemwide approach to improvement.

Q: What are some of the untapped opportunities to improve patient experience today?

KG: I believe utilization of technology will be important in improving patient experience in the future, like many other industries have done. Healthcare has trailed in this space. Having the ability to provide patients with the ability to access care, communicate about their care needs, [as well as] the ability for caregivers to manage care remotely through telehealth and other technologies will be extremely important going forward to enable systems to be consistent around patient experience.

Q: How do you see your role evolving in the healthcare field over the next 5 years?

KG: Like safety and quality, improving patient experience is everyone's role within Michigan Medicine. I do think the importance of having a dedicated office of patient experience and the resources necessary to influence change uniformly across the system will be important over the next few years. We have been fortunate to have leadership support and commitment for our priority areas to ensure we are impactful for our patients.

More articles on patient engagement:
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