Q&A with Intermountain Healthcare's Dr. Shannon Connor Phillips on providing extraordinary care

Shannon Connor Phillips, MD, chief patient experience officer at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, discusses the importance of improving experience for both the patient and the provider as well as her current goals.

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

Question: What is the No. 1 challenge facing healthcare chief experience officers? How do you plan to tackle it?

Dr. Shannon Connor Phillips: Engaging the people we serve in the solutions to the issues we face in healthcare, [along] with patients and families as team members.

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

SCP: We can remember our patients are consumers. We are all consumers. Patients are the users of our service, whether they can choose us or not. When there is little/no choice about when/where/how care is experienced, how can we make it feel personalized and caring? Do we leverage all the opportunities to delight another human in simple ways? We can learn from other industries, and quickly!

Use high reliability principles and continuous improvement methods to iterate on creating extraordinary care and caring. We want to be reliable in process of care, changing a dressing or placing a catheter, and we want to be reliably present with our patients and their families in their times of need.

Question: What are some key goals you hope to accomplish before the end of the year?

SCP: Meaningfully improve physician engagement/experience and making intentional connections among safety, quality and the experience of caring so that our caregivers feel the relationship between these things in their work.

Question: How do you see the role of the chief experience officer evolving in the healthcare field over the next five years?

SCP: I hope we redefine patient experience as human experience that is personalized and caring, supports health, delivers exceptional value and is free from harm. It is care and caring co-created with those we serve.

I hope we quickly leverage consumerism and the right technologies to enable full participation by people in their care.

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