Each April, the healthcare industry celebrates and salutes members of its community with National Patient Experience Week.
What Is National Patient Experience Week?
National Patient Experience Week is annual event developed by The Beryl Institute in an attempt to bring awareness to important and often overlooked people in the healthcare community -- those who are responsible for providing exceptional patient experiences.
Patient experience as described by The Beryl Institute is “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization's culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”
During National Patient Experience Week, hospitals and private practices salute the people responsible for providing excellent patient experiences. Those people may include:
- Administrative staff
- Executive team members
- Community organizations
- And even patient family members
It’s important to honor and recognize these people because those who contribute to improved patient experiences create better outcomes for both patients and healthcare facilities.
- Better patient experiences can provide better healthcare outcomes. A New York Times article reported that better patient experiences and environments can improve health care results. “Medical researchers say such amenities can improve health outcomes by reducing stress and anxiety among patients, while private rooms can cut down on the transfer of disease.”
- Better patient experiences can improve patient engagement (which also leads to better healthcare outcomes). When patients are comfortable during their care, they are more likely to be engaged with what is happening around them. When this type of patient engagement improves, so do healthcare outcomes. High patient engagement promotes a higher level of wellness as patients are more likely to take better care of themselves and be more proactive about their health.
- Better patient experiences can build patient loyalty. In an increasingly competitive market, healthcare facilities must focus on providing exceptional experiences for their patients. If healthcare providers fail to meet the needs of their patients, patients can choose to take their business elsewhere. Some hospitals have even gone as far as treating their facility as though it’s in the hospitality category in order to stand out from their competition.
If you operate a healthcare facility, National Patient Experience Week is a great time to show appreciation for the staff and healthcare community who help bring these benefits to your facility and patients.
When Is National Patient Experience Week?
National Patient Experience Week typically takes place at the end of April or early May. In 2017, it officially takes place from April 24-28.
What Can You Do During National Patient Experience Week?
There is no standard process for celebrating this awareness initiative. Healthcare providers should choose to host events that best match their facility’s size and access to resources.
Healthcare facilities may choose to host:
- Awards ceremony
- Formal luncheon
- Catered casual lunch
- Open house
- Education seminar
- Appreciation day
Or, providers may simply choose to recognize National Patient Experience Week by sharing messages through their organization newsletter or on-property digital signage.
If you are preparing plans for celebrating National Patient Experience Week in your facility, keep a few things in mind.
Recognize those who set high standards. Honor the people in your organization who have raised the bar or continue to set a high standard for care. Publically acknowledge those individuals and use their actions as examples of how the rest of your staff can replicate their habits.
Reward those who have made an impact. Don’t just salute the people who are doing exceptional work. Reward them with tokens of appreciation such as bonuses, time off, or prizes.
Reflect on achievements. While it’s good to single out individuals who are doing important work, also acknowledge the achievements of your organization as a whole. Highlight the growth and improvements that your entire team has made as it relates to patient care and satisfaction.
Re-energize those who continue to push initiatives forward. Providing exceptional patient experiences in the healthcare field is a difficult job, and it’s easy for team members to get burned out. So use this week as a time to re-energize initiatives and individuals who may be fizzling out. Talk to your team to see what they need and how you can help them keep moving forward.
Review what you’ve done and create plans for the future. This week is also a good time to look back at what you’ve accomplished and look forward to the future of your organization’s patient experience plans. Spend time looking at the past year and identify mistakes and opportunities for how you can improve next year.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore this chance to support and acknowledge your staff.
Use National Patient Experience Week as an opportunity to reward those who are actively working to provide better healthcare environments, support patient well-being, and help your facility or practice improve and stand out.
Learn how to improve patient experiences at your organization.
Improve patient experience so you have more to celebrate during the next National Patient Experience Week. Get our ultimate guide for delivering exceptional patient experiences. This free guide gives you all the tools you need to delight current patients and attract new ones.