Good Read: Improving the Patient Experience: One Person at a Time by Susan E. Mazer

Written by: Susan E. Mazer

For the better part of my consulting practice, I have been engaged in helping organizations improve their patients’ experiences as measured by patient surveys. Although I personally revel in analyzing survey data, I have always emphasized that survey scores are nothing more than indicators that provide one type of insight into the patient experience.

In Improving the Patient Experience: One Person at a Time, Susan E. Mazer, PhD, reinforces the concept that shaping the patient experience is first and foremost about human connections. In her compilation of her “best and most read” blogs, which by her own admission are repetitive and not necessarily meant to be read all at once, Mazer depicts a healthcare environment that has become task oriented and productivity driven. She is adamant that HCAHPS and value-based purchasing have pushed healthcare organizations to “teach to the test”, making it difficult for those of us who claim healthcare as a calling to keep in touch with what called us in the first place.

If your goal is to create the perfect patient experience one HCAHPS composite at a time, this e-book may not be the answer. If you have a minute, read the “HCAHPS Version of Jeopardy” blog to get a good sense of what your patients and their family members are telling you about their experiences BEFORE they ever fill out a survey. If you have a few more minutes, try “How Do We Add Mission to Admission?” or “The Patient Experience: What Matters?” Before you know it, Mazer might convince you that the secret to mastering HCAHPS is in the “human factors of delivering care – in the ways in which one person can offer compassion and empathy to another…”

I came away with a renewed appreciation for the power of each patient’s perception and a firmer resolve to help healthcare organizations proactively create positive, nurturing, and comforting experiences for both patients and those who care for them. Mazer has reminded me that what I do matters and why healthcare is a calling and not just a job or a transaction.