May 15, 2017

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In the ever-evolving field of patient-centered care, innovative models are being used across the nation to improve the entire patient experience. This panel of advocates, clinical staff, and technology disruptors highlighted how small changes that successfully incorporate patients’ ideas and input often can have a huge impact on the patient experience.

Panelists were:

  • Sharrie McIntosh, M.H.A., (Moderator), Vice President for Programs, NYHealth
  • Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin, M.P.A., M.S.R., Managing Director, Flip the Clinic
  • Katherine Brieger, R.D., C.C.E., C.P.H.Q., Chief of Patient Experience and Staff Development, HRHCare
  • Beth Silber, M.P.A., Family Consultant at the Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York, NYU Langone Medical Center

Ms.  Bowman-Zatzkin described the ways in which Flip the Clinic empowers both patients and clinical staff to generate innovative ideas on making engagement with the health care system better and easier. One such intervention (or “flip”) addressed the fact that many patients are either too intimidated to ask their doctors a question or don’t know what to ask. A patient worked with Flip the Clinic to create a deck of cards with prompt questions for patients to ask their doctors during an appointment. These prompts give patients an added resource to be partners in their own care.

Ms. Brieger talked about the ways in which HRHCare has integrated patients into every aspect of the clinical experience, from bringing patients on rounds to using them as quality agents. HRHCare also has patients train new staff members every several months on patient-centered care and engagement. Having patients participate in these initiatives has been proven to raise Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) scores—a tool used by most insurance plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service.

Ms. Silber discussed her own personal journey of having a child with a serious illness and how this led her to actively participate in helping hospitals become more patient-centered. As a family consultant, she has led several initiatives to transform the patient experience, including working with families of diverse backgrounds, ensuring materials are culturally appropriate, and sitting on patient safety and quality workgroups with clinical staff.

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