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Survey: Chief Experience Officer Role Gains Traction in Healthcare Orgs

May 11, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Culture transformation, patient satisfaction at top of senior-level executives’ minds

As the healthcare industry continues to deal with the pressures involved with the switch from volume to value, a new cadre of executives, chief experience officers (CXOs), is gaining prominence, according to a recent survey from the Experience Innovation Network, the research division of the San Jose, Calif.-based Vocera Communications.

CXOs are gaining traction in healthcare and are poised to lead enterprise strategies for experience improvement that align quality, safety, and performance initiatives, the survey, “The Evolving Role of the Healthcare Chief Experience Officer," revealed. Survey respondents included senior-level executives from inpatient and outpatient healthcare organizations participated in the study, providing insight into the CXO role and sharing viewpoints on strategic priorities for this essential and expanding executive position.

Culture transformation is the main focus for experience leaders, according to the study, followed by initiatives to improve patient satisfaction. Among survey respondents, 70 percent said building a relationship-based culture, which includes improving physician and staff engagement and communication, was one of their top strategic priorities for 2015. “The Chief Experience Officer is a critical leadership role in healthcare. This change agent is at the center of driving culture transformation and unifying quality, safety and experience strategies to improve care delivery. With a strong, respected CXO leading the charge, healthcare organizations can restore human-to-human connection and engage patients, families and clinicians as equal partners in improving the health of the population,” said M. Bridget Duffy, M.D., chief medical officer at Vocera.

What’s more, 42 percent of survey participants cited improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores as a main goal for 2015. In support of this goal and improving patient satisfaction, respondents identified four industry trends shaping their experience improvement strategies:

•         System collaboration and communication to provide seamless patient experiences

•         Data transparency inside and outside the hospital and health system

•         Technology enablement to remove barriers and improve efficiency

•         Shifting perceptions from traditional patients to healthcare consumers 

“Consumerism has been on the horizon for quite some time in healthcare, and now it is here. Providers are seeing the shift and recognizing patients as consumers. Patients have choices of where they go for healthcare and expect the same level of experience they receive from other industries,” Elizabeth Boehm, director of the Experience Innovation Network, said in a statement.

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Great article, Rajiv.

The Chief Experience Officer role is becoming a critical component in healthcare and is going to be both an exciting and interesting movement to track. It will be especially fascinating to see how new technologies will help CXOs and hospital systems get back to the "basics" of human-centered patient care. At Kyruus, we are excited as anyone to see how this new cadre of health executives will help to deliver on patient engagement and access. In case you're interested, here’s an article on my thoughts surrounding this trend: http://bit.ly/1IxQo7O

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