This may sound like a foolish question because your hospital is probably the only one on the block. But the truth is, many organizations are translating patient experience success through awards, and top 100 lists that have absolutely nothing to do with patient experience. Their leaders are lulled into the belief that the consumers are paying attention to the lists and awards, and translating them to the patient experience. The problem is; patients didn’t define the value as part of the award. Their voice is heard through patient satisfaction measures.
I’m not saying that a hospital that has been named number one in, let’s say, pediatric orthopedics, shouldn’t be proud of that recognition, and advertise it. But the truth is, that accolade has nothing to do with how the patient, and parents in this case, feel about their experience. And, keep in mind that all the press you share about your awards and top 100 lists, actually raises patient expectations that you are of top 100 quality. That means the patient experience too. Does it match up?
Each year the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) publishes Future Scan, (2016, Health Administration Press) a series of environmental assessments for healthcare leaders. The data is collected from CEO members of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). This year’s edition of Future Scan starts with the patient experience. The very first question posed to participating healthcare executives, asked them for their opinion about patients comparing experience ratings with those of other hospitals, prior to choosing. Seventy nine percent predict that by the year 2021, their patients will have made the comparison prior to choosing their hospital.
If your hospital is among those in the various top 100 lists – congratulations. You’ve worked hard to achieve clinical excellence and name recognition. Just don’t lump the patient experience in with the celebration. Patients can, and do, make their own judgment on value. And one value they judge is the patient experience. Make sure the experience matches your award-winning expertise.