Chief of Patient Experience: who is he and what does he bring to a hospital?

The context: At present, where patients have a choice in hospitals and are increasingly demanding, hospital groups are developing new ways to meet their needs. One of these ways is the creation of new positions, specializing in the wellbeing of patients, including that of Chief Patient Experience Officer. 

What is a Chief Patient Experience Officer? 

• What he does in the hospital 

His mission is to cultivate and maintain a human dimension in the hospital. As we move towards increasingly efficient medical processes, he ensures that the care is not completely devoid of humanity. More communication, listening, sensitivity to patients. But while he deals with the general level of wellbeing of those admitted to the hospital, he also supports the wellbeing of healthcare teams. Thus, he is also responsible for finding solutions to relieve nursing assistants, who often have very tough working conditions. 

In addition, he responds and takes into account patients’ complaints and grievances, so that they feel heard and listened to, and not treated as objects requiring repairs. His goal is to continually improve their future experience, based on their previous complaints. 

• His functions 

He supervises a team specializing in patients’ wellbeing within the hospital. Usually accompanied by a data scientist and/or Chief Population Health Officer (CPHO), he uses patients’ data and opinions not to directly improve service efficiency, but to improve the level of service and general well-being within the hospital. 

• His responsibilities are to: 

a) Develop a global strategy to optimize patient experience. 

b) Oversee and teach employees a certain philosophy to improve the wellbeing of patients. 

c) Cooperate with all other units to complete this experience. 

d) Identify departments in difficulty/behind in this field, and remedy problems that concern them. 

What does he bring to the hospital? 

• He indirectly improves the efficiency of the service 

A good patient experience reflects the confidence they will place in the care they receive. When patients experience this atmosphere of trust, empathy and respect that the Chief Patient Experience Officer strives to maintain in the hospital, they will likely have better medical outcomes. Thus, even if it is indirect, the Chief Patient Experience Officer also improves the efficiency of the service. 

• He improves the hospital’s reputation  

Although the quality of care provided is commonly accepted as the primary criterion for a hospital’s reputation, patient experience is considered extremely important by patients. As a result, it directly affects the hospital’s reputation, mainly by word of mouth. 

Thus, the creation of new specialized positions in general wellbeing within the hospital, although often neglected, takes on an even greater dimension than in the past. These new positions, which may not seem indispensable, actually result in a number of indirect benefits. 

Sources: Susan Kreimer, Patient Experience Takes A Front Seat in Health Care, American Association for Physician Leadership 

New C-suite position to watch: Chief experience officers, Managed Healthcare Executive. 

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