Driving Practice Growth by Restoring Humanity to Healthcare

FEBRUARY 24, 2015
M. Bridget Duffy, MD
4. Map the gaps in efficiency plus empathy. Instead of focusing solely on cost reduction and efficiency, leading healthcare organizations concentrate on understanding gaps in the human experience and hardwiring evidence-based solutions that bridge these gaps. Experience mapping uses an efficiency plus empathy model that infuses the voice of patients, families, and staff to identify barriers in care. When mapping the gaps in the human experience of care, many organizations discover that communication is the No. 1 barrier. The Joint Commission also points to breakdowns in communication as an industry challenge and the leading cause of adverse events. Therefore, it is essential for healthcare providers to design the next standards of care that restore the human connection, return people to purpose, and create seamless patient experiences. Mapping the gaps in efficiency plus empathy provides valuable information about how to create ideal experiences and create loyalty by drilling down to what matters most for each stakeholder. In doing so, care teams can create national Always Events®, which are aspects of care that should always occur when patients and families interact with a healthcare provider.

5. Put science behind the human experience of care. At the intersection of technology and humanity, there are many innovative solutions transforming healthcare. In 2014, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) recognized the practice of recording discharge instructions as an Always Event, an accolade that the “sacred moment” on admission also received. As physician practices, hospitals and health systems implement these human-centered innovations, they will be required to measure their impact on quality and safety metrics, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes. Pioneer organizations recording discharge instructions have reported significant increases in patient satisfaction as well as decreases in readmission rates. To accelerate a scientific agenda focused on the human experience of care, a growing group of industry thought leaders are researching and sharing best practices to improve communication, patient and family engagement, staff resiliency, and many other key drivers. To stay ahead of ever-evolving healthcare trends it is important for physician practices to collaborate with other industry leaders to avoid reinventing the wheel and help set the next standards of care.
M. Bridget Duffy, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer for Vocera Communications, Inc., the leading provider of real-time, intelligent communication solutions for mission-critical mobile environments.  Dr. Duffy is also the Cofounder of ExperiaHealth and the Experience Innovation Network, which helps organizations rapidly design and deploy innovations that restore the human connection in healthcare while improving clinical outcomes and patient, staff and physician loyalty.  Dr. Duffy can be reached at bridget.duffy@vocera.com

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