The 13th Becker’s Annual Meeting was jam packed with great content. Thousands of executives from health systems across the country showed up and engaged for four days at sessions on a wide range of topics. However, the Gozio team was most interested in sessions focused on consumer and employee engagement, digital transformation, and what the future looks like for health systems.
Here are five things we saw and heard that make us think.
In a session focused on healthcare in 2035, shared what they see as having an impact. The common threads were the growth and impact of technology like AI and VR combined with deeper personalization. Creating a more holistic “total experience” that doesn’t feel like using disconnected tools. One panel member said, “Healthcare doesn’t get a pass anymore. It’s time to do better.”
In several sessions there was a focus on staff experience and the impact of culture on care. Even patient experience leaders said they are now looking at how they can do a better job for staff. One leader said that her organization makes sure leaders are accessible and visible. Leaders walk in their staff’s shoes. They engage with staff and put their money where their mouth is so to speak. Another panelist said they measure how improving staff experience impacts patients. One example was an improvement in Facebook reviews of their ED which went from 80% negative to 80% positive after they committed to improvements in staff experience. Another said this, “Team members first. When people are cared for, they can care for people.”
In another session that looked at culture and experience, a panelist said you have to take your internal values and translate them into an external brand promise that is easy to reinforce with staff and patients. In other words, go from a complicated internal value like, “We ensure the continuity of a patient experience with data and quality care,” to a simple message like, “You matter to me.” It’s easy to both tell patients they matter and show them in your actions.
A great quote we heard was around patient experience. “Not being about me, without me.” It reminded us of the American ideal of no taxation without representation. Like no big medical bills without representation. People want their healthcare providers to think about their experience and gather information through surveys and focus groups. They want to help craft the experience. And there is so much data now that can be used to support these changes. One panelist kept reinforcing that whether it is staff or patients, use all the data you have. “There is a science behind the service,” she concluded.
The quote that resonated most came from a session on patient experience and the bottom line. “ Sometimes something that makes sense financially doesn’t make sense for patients and/or staff.” So don’t make decisions based solely on an immediate financial benefit. The example was moving all calls to a centralized call center. After some time it became clear that patients weren’t getting the best experience being moved away from talking to someone in their PCP office. Complaints were on the rise. The organization addressed this by using technology to help address simple, common calls and moved more complex calls back to the front desk. It took time to operationalize but the benefit was enormous.
Finally, the end of day keynote with Mark Cuban was full of soundbites. We can’t quote many of them because of the “salty language.” What a fun diversion from how serious we can be in healthcare. The big takeaway though was that there are ways to make a big impact in healthcare if the focus is on making a real difference and not the bottom line. Of course there is no mission without money, but there are times and places for putting experience and care above dollars.