University of Missouri Health Care's Kevin Gwin on how data can help enhance patient experience

Kevin R. Gwin, chief patient experience officer at Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care, discusses the key role data plays in improving patient experience, as well as the importance of clinician well-being.

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

Q: What is your proudest moment/achievement as chief patient experience officer of University of Missouri Health Care?

Kevin Gwin: It's right now. I am proud of the way we are caring for and serving our patients. This is a really good time for us. Our clinical quality is improving. We are producing solid financial results, and our employee engagement and patient loyalty metrics are at record highs. Our patients are telling us by their survey results, their comments and their loyal behaviors that our relationship with them is strong.h

Q: What is the biggest threat to patient experience today? How do you think it can be tackled?

KG: The biggest threat to patient experience is also the biggest threat to healthcare, and that's the well-being of our clinicians. We need to better measure and care for physicians, nurses and staff. Their wellness and engagement are the crucial pieces to our ability to serve in a remarkable way.

Q: How is University of Missouri Health Care planning to take patient experience to the next level in the next few years?

KG: By continuing to strengthen our culture and taking care of each other. Our patient experience initiatives are data-driven, similar to the way we manage clinical quality and financial performance. Our finely detailed, patient-level data focuses our improvement work and reveals those individuals we need to recognize, retain and coach.

For example, in the emergency department, we can produce a Net Promoter Score for specific rooms and locations. And in our children's hospital, we can examine loyalty by diagnosis code or by age of the patient.

Imagine how insightful this is and helpful in developing creative interventions for improvement.

Q: In what ways do you think your role will change over the next five years?

KG: I am optimistic about the future of this work. It will increase in importance, as consumerism advances and the evidence mounts about the power of generating patient loyalty. It will be the ultimate competitive advantage.

More articles on patient engagement:
What Northwell Health's got cooking to create patient rave reviews
Why this New York hospital hosts an annual 'teddy bear clinic'
St. Peter's Healthcare CXO on aiming higher as bar gets raised on patient satisfaction

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