The Chief Experience Officer of the Cleveland Clinic talks about improving the overall patient experience, from physical to emotional needs.
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How do Physicians feel about consumer-driven-healthcare? Dr. Bridget Duffy: Surprisingly it's a welcome change for the physicians. I think physicians often enter medicine to have a relationship and a connection with patients and I think that there was a little skepticism as to what is the role of the Chief Experience Officer? What does that mean? And why are we trying to focus on improving the patient experience? But I think there is an understanding that as the higher tech we get, the more high touch we need to get and that the patients actually are more satisfied and have better outcomes when we kind of approach them in a more holistic way. So, docs are more open than I actually thought that they would be. Is there danger in putting more control in the hands of the patient? Dr. Bridget Duffy: I think that there is no stop in having transparency in data. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic was one of the first in publishing our outcomes data for every single procedure we do. So, that's why we have been ranked the number one heart center in the country. Number two in urology and it's because of the volume, the acuity and we publish our data. So, patient-consumers can go look online and find out what our outcomes are. So, I think there is no stopping consumers shopping around for the best care, but I think, doing it in consultation with someone who is knowledgeable in the healthcare field or the physician is a wiser way to do the shopping around. Why are you here? Dr. Bridget Duffy: Well, what I am going to be talking about is the interest from patient-consumers demanding more than just a great technical outcome. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious condition or diagnosed with cancer, you are immediately faced with your mortality and you need someone to help you navigate the system. So, we recognized at the Cleveland Clinic that we have made ourselves number one in the country on phenomenal clinical outcomes. We now have to create an experience for the patient and their family, that is on the same par as our clinical outcomes. That means we have to humanize the way we deliver technology and we know patients and their families are asking a couple of things and we are going to address them and meet the need. One is, they are asking for a navigator. They won't help guiding them, trying to get into the system, navigating for their mother in the hospital and then connecting and supporting them after they have left. So, I have hired a Director of Health Navigation. We are piloting that in several areas, and we think it will be something that is a very welcome in addition to patient care. Second thing we are doing is, we are improving the physical environment. I mean, there is nothing worse than being very ill in a very sterile place that houses technology. So, we have done a lot of things to transform, the waiting rooms for the families, wireless remote, different colors, sound, classical music, artwork. We have a full time art curator on staff at the Cleveland Clinic. We have redesigned the patient gown. There is no longer an opening in the back, so as you are walking down the hall, exposing everything to the rest of the world. We now have a gown that we actually asked our patients, our staff to design for us, and we have launched that this year. So, we are looking at things that address the physical environment to help enhance and improve healing, and then we are also addressing the emotional needs to the patient when diagnosed with a serious illness. So, we have created a whole new division called the Healing Services Division. So, upon admission, we will ask the patient, in addition to your open heart procedure on Wednesday, what else would help support your healing while you are here? What issues are you dealing with? Whether it be stress, anxiety, nervousness, and we will bring those resources to there, whether it be in the form of a spiritual care, vital feedbacks, stress reduction programs, guided imagery. So, we