Time to rethink the patient experience conversation

Aug 8, 2019
Time to rethink the patient experience conversation

Improving patient experience takes a whole system approach that blends “the art of our humanness with the science of medicine”.

A paper by Jason Wolf, CEO of the Beryl Institute, in the Patient Experience Journal, advocates a shift in thinking that would place experience at the heart of healthcare.

“If we reframe the conversation on patient experience to one that is about all we aspire to achieve, about how every role matters, every voice contributes, every perspective brings value and seasoning to an ever-expanding mix of possibility, then what we can do in healthcare is boundless,” he writes.

“(It) may be our greatest opportunity in a global healthcare system where access and equity, quality and safety, empathy and compassion, and health and wellbeing, are not just what we do as work, but the fundamental reality of all we do as human beings caring for human beings.”

Tips to move healthcare to a place of action

He sets out three key considerations to help healthcare systems “move to a place of action”.

  1. Experience must be seen and acted on as an integrated effort, rather than separate from other points of focus, such as quality or safety.
  2. Experience should move beyond this “inside out” perspective by making patients true partners in healthcare.
  3. Experience should be owned at the point of interaction, whether that be in person or, as is increasingly common, virtually.

“(Experience is) not just a disconnected list of tactics or practices. To be effective at the personal moments there must be a system in place to encourage success,” he writes, explaining that should come in the form of a strategic framing and access to necessary resources.

“The concepts of centeredness and engagement are critical approaches essential to healthcare success, but in their very vernacular they perpetuate a perspective of ‘doing to’ or ‘for’,” he says. Although ideas such as “we put patients first” are critical, it is important to ensure patients have a “sense of ownership” of the process.

When brought together, these considerations reinforce that healthcare is an “ever moving blend of the art of humanness with the science of medicine”, he states. “To effectively succeed then we need to manage the points of interaction and … the system around them.”



Wolf PhD, C. P. X. P., & Jason, A. (2019). Reframing the conversation on patient experience: Three considerations. Patient Experience Journal, 6(1), 1-5. Retrieved from https://pxjournal.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1374&context=journal

Time to rethink the patient experience conversation

Astellas Patient Advocacy is a function within Corporate Affairs at Astellas that focuses on creating, building and maintaining third-party relationships. We serve as a conduit between Astellas and external stakeholders to help improve patient outcomes, improve access issues and address patients’ unmet needs head on.

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