Think about the last time you had a really good experience when you sought health care so wanted to shout it from the rooftops satisfying. It likely involves more than just a clinical solution to your health problem. Everyone you encountered—doctors, nurses, techs, aides, nutrition and environmental staff, front desk staff, couriers, pharmacists, even valet parking attendants—probably made you feel at ease, answered your questions in a way you could understand, and showed concern for your needs.
This is the kind of patient experience that Penn Medicine is firmly committed to providing – Something that staff and teams emphasize throughout the year as the Penn Medicine (PMX) experience. Recently, Penn Medicine received several awards from Press Ganey, a company that measures, tracks and analyzes patient experience metrics – in recognition of the best achievement of these goals.
When patients complete an inpatient stay or receive outpatient care for hospital-related services such as radiology or lab, Press Ganey invites them to complete a survey about their experiences–from care team attention and communication, to hygiene, to discharge from the hospital operation, and more. Hospitals use this data to improve operations and training, with the goal of providing a satisfying experience that patients will recommend to others.
As part of the 2022 Human Experience Awards, Bryce Janney honored Penn Medicine in four categories:
- University of Pennsylvania Clinical Practices (CPUP), Apheresis Therapy Received the Summit Excellence Award for Outpatient Experience. This award is presented to the three best performing organizations in each category for their exceptional achievement – maintaining consistently high standards of excellence over a period of three years.
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Pavilion Received the Guardian of Excellence award for inpatient experience. The Guardian of Excellence Awards are awarded annually to the top five percent of organizations in measures of patient experience.
- Penn Medicine Radnor Surgical Centeralso part of HUP, has been awarded the Guardian of Excellence award for ambulatory surgery patient experience.
- Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital (CCH) Received the Guardian of Excellence award for inpatient experience.
“Patients come to us for expert clinical care but are delighted with the personal service and attention they receive which makes the patient experience truly exceptional,” he says. Craig LondasAssociate Vice President, Penn Medicine Experience. “Being recognized among the top five percent in the country is testament to the exceptional care and compassion we provide.”
Efforts behind excellence in patient experience
Along with the other leaders and staff behind these latest recognitions, Londas points out that it takes multiple efforts on multiple fronts to achieve a great patient experience.
It starts with building and supporting teams of staff who are kind by nature and dedicated to making patients’ lives better, according to Jesse Reich, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, Director of Experience and Magnet Programs at HUP. “It’s just who we are,” she says. “A credit goes to Penn Medicine Academy for giving us tools to identify suitable candidates who have these qualities. It’s hard to teach empathy or empathy. And then acknowledging that is really important in people.”
Emphasizing PMX standards, including empathy, presence, and an expression of cultural humility, helps reinforce the focus on making sure patients and their families have a good experience. Carly Meister, MA (A), RNCCH’s director of patient experience and risk, notes that listening to patients and their loved ones helps ensure care teams meet their needs.
Meister also shares that CCH learns from its own positive patient experiences. Nursing units and departments celebrate patient experience performance outcomes through “success analysis pools”: “This strategy emphasizes … how to connect unique employee behaviors and interventions that lead to high patient experience outcomes and positive feedback subjects.”
At Penn Medicine Radnor Surgery Center, associate managing director Thomas Nild, MBA, commends the frontline staff whoWe strive to make all patients feel safe and cared for And she has a great overall experience”, from check-in, through to post-process and follow-up.
This work happens behind the scenes, too. For example, the Surgery Center has begun working with Penn Medicine’s Center for Healthcare Innovation to better communicate with patients by text message. “We have seen a significant improvement in patient satisfaction with regard to pre-operative instructions and a decrease in last-minute cancellations, as patients receive reminders of their procedure in advance,” reports Nild.
This is just one example of the center’s focus on lifelong learning. “We firmly believe in refining and elevating our operations and enhancing the patient experience,” says Radnor Surgery Center Medical Director. Norman Randolph, MD.
The effort to improve the patient experience extends even to the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, which is generally not associated with direct patient care. to me Don L. Siegel, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology, Fellowship Program in Transfusion Medicine, and Center for Advanced Cell Therapies, the pathology departments “have grown to be more than just departments of diagnosis, but nowadays they are departments of therapy as well.”
He continues, “Our clinical pathologists along with our team of specialist nurses offer life-saving therapeutic apheresis procedures to treat many chronic neurological, hematological and metabolic disorders or perform apheresis to collect blood cells to enable bone marrow transplantation as well as manufacture of CAR-T cells and forms of other than cellular therapy.
No matter their role, the awards are a testament to the teamwork that makes Penn Medicine what it is. Says Reich, “There’s nothing going on at Penn Medicine that doesn’t involve a whole team of people coming together to improve patient care. And these awards are an example of exactly that.”