I once asked the CEO of a large hospital what will be the main KPI to measure how well the hospital is doing. The CEO immediate response was that the best indicator would be how satisfy the patients are.
In a stressful and overloaded environment such as a hospital, it is easy to focus on the disease and forget about the patient. A chief experience officers (CXO), or other similar titled leaders, is a new member in a hospital C-suite. The role of a CXOs have gained scope and respect in the C-suite as studies show how experience affects all aspects of care. There is a growing body of evidence supporting that the association between better patient experience and health care quality. For example, a study found that a higher CMS star rating was associated with lower patient mortality and readmission's.
One of the drivers accelerating the adoption was the US government decision to start mandate measuring patient’s perception of their care and tied reimbursement to those scores.
Beyond the quality and financial implications, health organizations acknowledge the fact that providing excellent patient experience also gives hospitals a boost over their market competitors, as happy patients tend to tell others about their positive experience.
A CXO activity ranges from setting straightforward customer service expectations through participation in the process of care coordination.In order to truly transform healthcare, there's a need to focus on improving the human experience in clinical care and not simply create a customer service wrapper around existing broken processes.
It is true that who cares for patients should feel responsible for ensuring a superb experience, however, without a strong leadership, patient experience will take a back seat to other initiatives and will become disjointed resulting in fatigue for staff and the organization. Most importantly, though, the CXO can be the one person—maybe the only one—who can coordinate cooperation among departments to ensure problems get resolved before they begin impacting patient experience.
The CXO should be the "voice of the patient" and the patient's advocate. Like any successful organization the voice of the customer must be heard around the executive table. And like any successful organization that voice is the compass for meeting the organization's financial goals in the long run.
The CXO on the executive tables closes the operational feedback loop and is a constant reminder what this industry is really all about - the well-being of the patient.