Saturday, May 2, 2015

Beryl: A Rocket on the Back of Healthcare

This picture has become my new expression for how I feel in this world of patient experience and transformation. Healthcare is a turtle, moving slowly and careful to stay protected from potential harm. With all of the current changes taking place, this slow moving turtle finds itself with a rocket strapped to its back.

Ready or not, the wheels of change are in motion!

Nothing is moving quickly enough for those who desire change. Everything is a blur for those who are new to understanding the movements underway; Patient/Family Engagement, Patient/Family Centered Care and Patient Experience.

One of the big rockets propelling forward today's healthcare environment is The Beryl Institute. As I shared in previous blogs, I was recently an attendee at the Beryl Conference in Dallas. They had so many amazing speakers and break out session leaders that I couldn't possibly capture it all so I have compiled a short list of some of my favorite quotes and themes from this amazing conference.

"Momentum creates moments and moments create momentum." 
This was a theme I heard often during the conference--focusing on "moments" in which we can give our patients special care--customized care to fit their needs--is what will set our organizations apart while providing the best patient/family experience possible.
"Moments" or "touch points" result in an experience that patients and families remember due to the emotional impact. 
Recognizing "moments" is something we can all work on and isn't as overwhelming as some of the broad stroke approaches to PFCC can feel.

Simon T Bailey used to work for Disney. He shared with us one of Disney's philosophies for success:
"Training does not fix what HR does not catch. 
Hire for attitude, train for success"
I will add to this that if we continue to work at involving PFAs into the interview process, we will have the best, and most qualified, team at the table making those key decisions!

My favorite keynote (and new favorite patient speaker) was Allison Massari.
She is profoundly moving and her presentation technique is something to be admired. I won't attempt to share her story--please take a look at her videos. I will share one quote from her keynote that we can all carry with us in this work and in our life:
"Compassion heals the places that medicine can not touch."

I was so impressed by the presentation given about the PFAC/PFA program at Virginia Mason. I learned a lot from them and thank them for being national leaders in this work. The quote I want to share with you now is from Kathy Leicester, a PFA with Virginia Mason:
"Generosity is a healing miracle.
Hope is based on connection, not outcome"

I love the themes emerging here. Patient experience is about the small moments, about authentic human connection and about making sure we have the right people in place to make those "touch points" meaningful. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Beryl Institute Takes a Stand

Jason Wolf, President of The Beryl Institute, knows how to put on a conference AND throw a great party! The picture below was taken not long after I forced him to dance with me at the House of Blues! 

As an attendee of the April 2015 Beryl Institute Conference in Dallas, it was hard to believe this was only the 4th year since its inception. Thousands of healthcare professionals from around the world were enthusiastically attending a large variety of break out sessions and hearing powerful keynote speakers. The Beryl Institute, lead by Jason Wolfe, came on the scene in 2006 and has made a huge impact in a short amount of time.

The Beryl Institute is focused on improving the patient experience and, as a basis for doing so, provides a wealth of data and industry analysis through white papers, benchmarking studies and sharing of best practices. Now, The Beryl Institute is ready to use their wealth of knowledge to weigh in on what makes an organization able to provide the best patient experience.  

The Beryl Institute has sunk 8 “stakes” in the ground, clearly stating what it takes to know if an organization is truly committed to providing the best patient experience.

Below are 4 of the 8 “organizational commitment” markers:

  • o   Have an identified leader with committed time and focused intent to shape the experience strategy within and organization or system
  • o   Have a formal definition/defined purpose for what “patient experience” means in an organization or system
  • o   Have a formalized structure/process for patient/family engagement
  • o   Focus on all segments of the continuum and the “spaces in between”

In Jason Wolfe’s keynote address, he explored some of the findings in the latest Beryl Institute study on “The State of Patient Experience in American Hospitals.” It is encouraging to learn that over eight in ten hospitals now have a formal structure to address patient experience, up from seven in ten in 2011. Certainly, the needle is moving but there is still more work to be done.

The study also shows that leadership engagement in improving the patient experience is a primary key to success (hence, the first bulleted “stake in the ground” above).  In addition, the study shares that some amount of enthusiasm for patient experience work has declined—a natural reaction to learning just how deeply layered this work can actually become when we dive in.

All of this reminds us how true that overused saying really is; this is a journey and the road continues to wind around before our eyes. So, how many of the Beryl stakes does your organization have in the ground? 

For more information about the Beryl Institute, please visit The Beryl Institute website.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Can't talk now...

I am having an amazing time at the Beryl Institute Conference in Dallas, TX! Looking forward to sharing great PFE tidbits with you very soon! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wow. Yes! We are getting there.

We are broadening the definition of harm to include disrespectful care, which is every bit as important as an infection in the ICU.” 
-Peter Pronovost on improving the patient experience in the ICU.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My boyfriend washed my pantyhose! (and how that relates to PFAs)

I am a chilly-natured person and, even in mild weather, my feet get cold easily. To remedy this, I have recently begun taking a page from my grandmother's fashion guide and wearing knee high pantyhose. (No, not with far)

It's been a wonderful solution and my feet stay warm!

I had only one challenge upon implementation: Mom's teachings from my Sunday School days dictate that all pantyhose must be hand washed in the sink with some mild detergent.


I was, and always will be, way too lazy/busy/stubborn to do that. 

So I didn't.

That meant I had a big pile of knee-high pantyhose in the hamper with no real plan of when or how they would get clean.

That's when it happened. I went away on business and my boyfriend had laundry duty. He washed my knee-high pantyhose with the rest of the wash and even put them in the dryer

Certainly they were destroyed! Runs and holes everywhere! Right? Nope. They looked fine. Clean and in perfect condition.

So what, you ask? Well, I agree that this is not the most interesting of topics and I thank you for hanging in there with me. The "so what" is this:

Patient Family Advisors are like my Boyfriend Who Washed My Pantyhose. 

Sometimes we as humans, and especially humans who work in healthcare, can become so entrenched in the "should do" or the "we have always done" that it takes someone that knows nothing about, I mean healthcare, to show us a new, easier or better way. 

Letting a person into the world of healthcare--one that is so complicated and works within the lines of life and death all day long--when they don't have the same education, background or expertise as an MD or an RN can seem silly to some, even dangerous to others.  It is essential to balance those reservations with the understanding that, without the clear vision of a person who is untainted by that same training, background and expertise, it is likely healthcare continues to wash its pantyhose in the sink when a more streamlined approach exists. 

I am often asked in one form or another, "What does genuine partnership between patients, families and providers look like?" One answer now seems abundantly clear: Embracing genuine partnership means asking the novice how he would wash your pantyhose!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cincinnati Children's gives patients a place for their voice!

I was impressed with many aspects of Cincinnati Children's and had thought-provoking conversations with many dedicated, innovative and passionate providers/leaders/staff.

One design element of the facility itself caught my eye and touched my heart. It was a radio station in the center of it all. Here, kids can come to talk across the airwaves about what sits on their hearts and minds.

What a great way to provide creative stimulation in the often boring hospital environment.
What a wonderful venue for the patient voice--live and in studio!

Way to go Cincinnati Children's!

Martha Hayward from IHI knows how to "create weather"!

"If you want to improve diversity in your PFE efforts, you can't just have one person, there has to be at least 2 new voices. That way, they can create their own weather."

Thanks for the great advice and the great new phrase, Martha!