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Patient Experience: Empathy & Innovation Summit

The 6th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit

May 17-20, 2015
Cleveland, Ohio

Patient Experience: A Key Differentiator

Patient experience has emerged as a dynamic issue for healthcare executives, physicians, nursing executives and industry leaders. No provider can afford to offer anything less than the best clinical, physical and emotional experience to patients and families. As patients become savvier, they judge healthcare providers not only on clinical outcomes, but also on their ability to be compassionate and deliver excellent, patient-centered care.

Taking place on May 17-20, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio, the 6th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit is a four-day, inter-professional conference devoted to exploring patient experience as a key differentiator essential to the future of healthcare delivery. It brings together patient experience leaders, healthcare executives, nursing leaders, policy makers and major stakeholders for presentations, debate and candid discussion of key issues that drive patient experience. Attendees will hear how they strive to deliver the best clinical, physical and emotional experience to patients and families.

The Summit will feature expert panel discussions about the national patient experience movement, providing participants from all disciplines the opportunity to identify shared challenges and inspire innovative solutions to help transform the patient experience and elevate customer satisfaction as a competitive differentiator.

In 2014, the Summit attracted more than 2,100 attendees, representing 49 states and 39 countries, making it the largest independent conference in the world dedicated to patient experience. The target audience for this Summit includes the following roles:

  • Patient Experience Stakeholders and Advocates
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Experience Officers and Coordinators
  • Chief Nursing Officers, Directors and Managers
  • Patient Experience Leaders
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Healthcare Executives
  • Marketing Directors and Managers
  • Caregivers
  • Provider Institutions
  • Professional Societies
  • Quality Customer Service Professionals
  • Architects
  • Philanthropists
  • Third Party Payors

Expert Panelists

The Summit will feature expert panel discussions about the national patient experience movement, providing participants from all disciplines the opportunity to identify shared challenges and inspire innovative solutions to help transform the patient experience and elevate customer satisfaction as a competitive differentiator.

2015 Summit Call for Presentations and Abstracts

Abstracts are being considered for a variety of formal and informal meetings, including podium or panel presentations, concurrent breakout sessions, workshops and poster presentations. Submissions are being sought that address a variety of topical areas, healthcare settings, professional disciplines and patient populations.

Summit Website

The 5th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit

May 18-21, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

2014 Summit Summary

Thank you to the more than 2,100 people who attended the fifth annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit from May 18-21 at the new Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees came from 49 states and 39 countries, representing hundreds of hospitals, healthcare systems and businesses around the globe, making this Summit the biggest in our history and the largest independent conference of its type in the entire world.

This year for the first time, Cleveland Clinic collaborated with Primary Partners American Hospital Association, American Medical Group Association, Association of Academic Health Centers, Society of Hospital Medicine, University HealthSystem Consortium and Association for Patient Experience. Supporting Partners included WomenHeart, Speak Up and Stay Alive, American College of Healthcare Architects, Healthcare Success Strategies and MedCity Media.

These partnerships enabled the delivery of a more robust Summit, ensuring that Summit attendees have the opportunity for exposure to the latest ideas, trends and topics, all delivered by industry experts and leaders of the global patient experience movement.

Two Pre-Summit Sessions were held on Sunday, May 18: “Creativity and Innovation in Marketing and Communications” and “Nursing: Synergy and Enhancement.” The first session, geared towards marketing, communications and social media, highlighted the importance of communicating empathy and establishing an emotional connection, innovation in the mobile sector, challenges arising from the technology consumers use to collect healthcare information and the importance of leveraging new audiences. It also featured a panel of executives who have launched start-up companies, sharing how they integrate marketing and patient engagement in their successful businesses. Attendees were shown the popular Cleveland Clinic “Empathy” videos (watch here and here) during the session.

The “Nursing: Synergy and Enhancement” session demonstrated the importance of compassionate, connected care and its burning platforms, nursing leadership best practices, nursing’s role in care coordination and delivering high quality care at an affordable cost. The track wrapped up with a unique “5 in 5” session, where presenters had five minutes and five slides to share their ideas that positively impacted the patient experience.

Also on Sunday, dozens of physicians and advanced clinical care providers attended communication classes facilitated by Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication. Sunday concluded with a welcome reception at the Lakeside Courthouse.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson welcomed attendees on Monday morning for the official start of the Summit, saying, “Healthcare is a major part of our economy in Cleveland, but it is also essential to the quality of life of the people in this region. And an essential part of healthcare is the patient experience.” Dr. James Merlino, Chief Experience Officer at Cleveland Clinic, set the tone by stating, “Why are we here? We're here to discover new things. It's important for all of us to engage in the discussion of patient experience so we can all learn together and collaborate.”

Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, CEO and President at Cleveland Clinic remarked, “The conversation around healthcare has moved away from individual proficiency. Today we talk about costs and patient outcomes; quicker recoveries, lower infection rates, fewer medical errors and better patient experience.”

Dr. Cosgrove then joined Dr. Michael Dowling (North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System), Dr. Robert Pryor (Baylor Scott & White Health) and Dr. Charles Sorenson (Intermountain Healthcare) in a popular CEO panel moderated by Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who stated, “It took a little bit of a wake-up call for many of us to come back to focusing on the centrality of the patient experience.” The panelists offered their unique perspectives as leaders of large organizations in a time of industry reform. “We're not just providers of medical care,” said Dr. Dowling. “We're in the service business, and the person we're serving is knowledgeable, educated, informed and demanding. We need to think about how we can provide a service they want and need.” Dr. Sorenson added, “Extending ourselves to incorporate the patient and their family is not just about being nice. It's about us being able to take care of patients in the way they need it.”

At the conclusion of the panel, Dr. Deirdre Mylod, Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation and Senior Vice President of Research and Analytics at Press Ganey, interviewed Morgan Gleason, a 15-year-old patient who spoke about the need to improve the physician-patient relationship. “I am a patient and I need to be heard,” said Gleason. “Although you went to a medical school to become a doctor, patients don't go to a patient school to become a patient.”

Micah Solomon, Customer Experience Consultant and Author at Four Aces, Inc., then addressed customer service inside and outside of healthcare. “You give great medicine and have a great patient experience by making the overall effect so wonderful that people cut you slack when filling out their HCAHPS surveys,” he said.

AAHC President, Dr. Steven Wartman followed Solomon and challenged the audience by asking, “Many say that we're built and designed to deliver medical care, not to deal with problems that are society's issues. Isn't your goal to improve health and well-being? If so, then societal problems are your problems.” Julie Moretz, Associate Vice Chancellor of Patient- and Family-Centered Care at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, told a powerful story about her son’s patient journey, stating, “Had my hospital not been patient- and family-centered, we would not have had the choice to be by my son's side at the most important time in his life.”

Calvin Schmidt, President of Cardiovascular & Metabolism at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, discussed the equal importance in the patient experience of not only extending life, but maintaining its quality. Speaking from personal experience with a family member’s fight with breast cancer, he spoke of the magic of the quality of life during treatment. “All of us are consumers of healthcare. It's a unique place to be,” said Schmidt. “All of us will have some experience in healthcare, personally and with our loved ones. It's an honorable profession, but the word ‘care’ makes it extremely personable.”

Jenn Lim, Chief Happiness Officer at Delivering Happiness, enlightened the lunch crowd as she explained how happiness can work as a business model. “Our brains are hardwired to seek happiness, yet we're super bad at predicting what can sustain it,” she said.

Two groups of breakout sessions took place in the afternoon. The day concluded with a reception and a dinner program, which featured a performance by musical artist Dominick Farinacci.

A CNO panel started Tuesday, May 20 with insights from some of the country’s key nursing leaders. Moderated by Cleveland Clinic Executive CNO Kelly Hancock, the panel included Christy Dempsey (Press Ganey), Kim Henrichsen (Intermountain Healthcare), Denise Minor (Lutheran Hospital) and Sue Collier (Hillcrest Hospital). “Care coordination is going to be more and more important moving forward. It's not just at the hospital anymore. It involves the entire continuum of care,” said Dempsey.

Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, stressed the importance of candor and transparency in patient experience and healthcare economics. “If you are as candid as possible with your patients, they'll forgive you for mistakes,” she said. “They won't forgive you if you try to hide information from them.”

Managing change was the topic of the next presentation by Sam and Allana Guidry. Allana, a former leukemia patient who gave birth just prior to her diagnosis, talked about her care journey and the caregivers who went above and beyond during it. “It was unreal to have somebody care so deeply for me as a person, not just as a case,” she said.

Dr. John Toussaint, President and CEO Emeritus at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value focused on the application of lean methodology and its value in the healthcare industry. “Try to write a problem statement that doesn't embed a solution in it. It's really hard to do,” he said. “This way of thinking changed my mind about how we build a culture of continuous improvement.”

Next was an engaging session, “Involving Physicians: 3 Perspectives,” featuring a panel moderated by Dr. James Merlino, including Dr. Adrienne Boissy (Medical Director, Center for Healthcare Communication, Cleveland Clinic), Dr. Jessica Dudley (Chief Medical Officer, Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization) and Dr. Thomas Lee (Chief Medical Officer, Press Ganey). “We can eliminate waste and do better patient care. It is the physicians and clinicians on the front line that are going to help us do that,” said Dudley.

Patrick Charmel, President and Chief Executive Officer at Griffin Hospital, presented evidence showing return on investment of resources that impacted patient-centered care. “There is a need to respond to a new era of healthcare with a cohesive approach centered on the patient,” he said.

Tuesday lunch began with an interview of Dr. Tom Graham, Chief Innovation Officer and renowned hand surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, who underwent pancreatic surgery. He and his wife, Cece, were interviewed by Dr. Graham’s surgeon, Dr. Matthew Walsh, Chair of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. “Don’t spend a lot of time looking back,” said Dr. Graham. “Look forward at what we can do better, through collaboration, innovation and caring.”

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, concluded the lunch session with a look at design thinking in healthcare. “We still struggle to engage with patients before they become patients. We struggle to engage with people around wellness instead of sickness,” he said.

Wednesday, May 21 began with a session of roundtable discussions, which served as a forum for informal conversations, idea sharing and networking around pertinent patient experience-related topics. WebMD CEO David Schlanger then spoke about how digital and online health information can support and enhance the physician-patient relationship. “Patients are acting in a proactive way, taking control in a way they've never done before,” he said. “A smarter, more informed patient is a better patient.”

Gerard van Grinsven, President and CEO at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, finished our plenary talks with his unique perspective that mixes experience in healthcare and hospitality. “If your patient is truly in the center of all that you do, you see an impact on length of stay, they heal faster, readmissions go down and they go into the community and rave about you,” he said.

From Monday through Wednesday, many panelists and presenters shared their thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to the patient experience in more than 50 small-group breakout sessions, These and additional breakouts allowed for more in-depth discussions and gave attendees opportunities to learn from presenters, ask questions and share their own best practices.

Additionally, nearly 200 attendees participated in a session on Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus designed specifically for our international attendees. Included in the agenda were 17 speakers and topics ranging from the global focus on patient-centered care to engaging a multi-national workforce and the impact of medical tourism.

Attendees were also invited to join the Association for Patient Experience, a nonprofit, 501c(3) organization established to support healthcare professionals, patients and their families. Basic memberships are available at no cost, and premium memberships are priced affordably. For more information and to become a member, visit www.patient-experience.org.

Along with launching the first issue of the Journal of Patient Experience, AfPE recognized its 2014 award winners, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (AfPE Practice of the Year Award) and Brandon Jones of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (AfPE Outstanding Caregiver Award).

During the Summit, attendees shared insights at the GE Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Kiva. Input gathered will help clinicians provide better care to those who have suffered from TBI. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Kiva.

More than 35 organizations displayed their offerings in the exhibitor areas, while 77 poster abstracts were on display for attendees to view throughout the Summit. Also, social media played a big part in engaging the audience. The Summit was very popular among Twitter users, with more than 5,700 tweets posted with the Summit hashtag, #PESummit.

In addition to our attendees, we also thank all of our speakers and sponsors: Johnson & Johnson Health Care Companies, Inc. (Presenting Sponsor); Press Ganey (Emerald Sponsor), Aramark and SmarterLifyStyle Network (Diamond Sponsors), RL Solutions, Emmi Solutions, Hill-Rom, GE and Root Inc. (Platinum Sponsors), Accenture, Innovatient Solutions and Wolters Kluwer Health – ProVation Medical (Silver Sponsors); and Cohen Group, Kwikboost, Lincor, PatientAlign and Yorn (Supporting Sponsors) for their tremendous support.

The 4th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit

May 19-21, 2013
Intercontinental Hotel & Conference Center
Cleveland, Ohio

2013 Summit Summary

Thank you to the more than 850 people who attended the 4th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit on May 19-21 at the InterContinental Hotel & Bank of America Conference Center on Cleveland Clinic's campus in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees came from 34 states and 30 countries, representing hundreds of hospitals, healthcare systems and businesses around the world.

The Summit opened with two sessions on Sunday, May 19: "Leveraging Marketing and Communications Programs for a Great Patient Experience" and "Creating Synergy in Healthcare." The first session, geared towards marketing, communications and social media, highlighted the trajectory of mobile technology and its impact on healthcare marketing, how healthcare organizations are using social media as a customer service tool and the power of online patient panels. It also featured a case study in using social marketing to generate word-of-mouth for local market initiatives.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic President and CEO, welcomed attendees the morning of Monday, May 20, setting the tone of the Summit by stating, "The only reason healthcare organizations exist is because of the patient. We have to not only do the right thing for them, but we have to include empathy and compassion." He was then joined by Dr. Mark Boom, CEO at the Methodist Hospital System, and UCLA Hospital System CEO Dr. David Feinberg in an insightful panel discussion, moderated by Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who said, "Engaging patients in patient-centered care can cure a lot of what ails healthcare. We can prevail against these issues if we put the patient front and center."

Drs. Boom and Feinberg also offered insights from their unique leadership perspectives during their keynote presentations. Dr. Boom spoke about the importance of focusing on how patients feel about coming to your institution. "Patient experience is a strategic investment, not an expense," he said.

Dr. Feinberg reiterated the necessity to build initiatives around patients, and to not give in to internal pushback. "Don't worry about resistance," he said. "If you take care of the patient in front of you, everything else will take care of itself."

Cleveland Clinic patient Pam McCary and her husband, Steve McCary, addressed the audience with their personal hospital experience and the influence that a caring, compassionate and communicative staff can have on patients, their family members and the healing process. "We left the hospital with a renewed sense of sovereignty," said Steve McCary. "I got to see ‘Patients First' lived out and I was inspired."

Michael Yang, President at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, talked about the breathtaking pace of medical innovation and how these innovations are going to be defined by outcomes related to the patient experience. "We should look to expand the lens of innovation to focus on broad systems that deliver the patient experience," said Yang. "Product innovations are impressive, but the outcomes – lives saved - are what matters, and we're not doing all we can." By transcending the "magic bullets," innovation will be enlarged to encompass not merely pharmaceuticals, but the systems that deliver them, that shape the patient experience and help determine clinical outcomes.

An inspiring lunch session on Tuesday, May 21, was led by Patrick Ryan, CEO, Press Ganey, as he moderated a panel featuring Dr. Dierdre Mylod, Vice President of Hospital Services and Press Ganey co-founder, Dr. Irwin Press. Interesting insights on the rise in importance of the patient experience were given by both panelists. "Patient satisfaction and the patient voice have both become fully institutionalized. They will ultimately be taken as seriously as clinical processes and standards," said Dr. Press, as he described his experiences. "If patient satisfaction isn't part of your report to your organizational trustees, it will never improve."

Tuesday afternoon featured an engaging panel of Chief Nursing Officers, including Kelly Hancock (Cleveland Clinic), Heidi Crooks (UCLA Health System), Marilyn Dubree (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) and Fairview Hospital's Deborah Small. Each emphasized the importance of a well-trained and engaged nursing staff, and how all functions within a caregiver's role have a direct connection to patient care and patient experience. "Any well-designed tool is only as good as the engaged staff and engaged patients that use it," said Small.

During the three-day Summit, many panelists and presenters shared their thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to the patient experience in small-group breakout sessions, including creating and sustaining a culture of service excellence, strategies for tackling HCAHPS improvement initiatives, patient experience in a pediatric setting, physician engagement and communication, integrating data, leadership and best practices in a patient experience strategy, hospital architecture, hospital art and medicine and many more. These and additional breakouts allowed for more in-depth discussions and gave attendees opportunities to learn from presenters, ask questions and share their own best practices.

Additionally, more than 100 attendees participated in a half-day session on the morning of Wednesday, May 22 titled, "Patient Experience Challenges and Strategies Internationally," while a small group of attendees participated in Cleveland Clinic's day-long "Foundations of Healthcare Communication" course.

More than 30 organizations displayed their offerings in the exhibitor areas, while more than 20 poster abstracts were on display for attendees to view throughout the Summit. Also, social media played a big part in engaging the audience. The Summit was popular among Twitter users, with more than 100 tweets using the Summit hashtag, #PESummit.

Presentations are now available for viewing on the Summit’s website at empathyandinnovation.com. Please check back often for more information, including details on the 2014 Summit.

The 3rd Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit Recap

May 20-22, 2012
Intercontinental Hotel & Conference Center
Cleveland, Ohio

2012 Summit Summary

Thank you to the more than 840 people who attended the 3rd Annual Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Summit on May 20-22, 2012 at the InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center on Cleveland Clinic's campus in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees came from 34 states and 28 countries, representing hundreds of hospitals, healthcare systems and businesses.

Two sessions were featured on Sunday, May 20, including “Digital and Social Media in Healthcare" and "Translating the Language of Caring.” The digital media session highlighted how healthcare providers can mobilize the power of digital media to make healthcare better, faster, more personal and affordable. It also explored the latest social media technologies and their roles in patient care, research and education.

The "Translating the Language of Caring" session demonstrated the importance of empathetic care through active listening and relationship-building with patients. Discussions about optimizing rounding efforts and the skills behind compassionate care were also part of this session.

The "Business of Patient Experience" session featured a panel discussion on the importance of including patient experience in strategic planning. Harley Manning, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research, said, “Write down these words: I need my customers more than they need me. Look at that every day, because it’s so easy to forget that. Experience what it’s like to be one of your own customers.”

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic President and CEO, explained that every one of Cleveland Clinic’s 43,000 employees have spent half-day sessions dedicated to improving the patient and employee experiences while learning how to express empathy and skills to connect better with patients.

Jenn Lim, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Delivering Happiness, delivered a presentation on customer satisfaction from her experiences working with Zappos, one of Fortune’s 2011 “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Centering on how companies can successfully create cultures based on happiness and be profitable at the same time, Lim advised, “Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department.” She also stressed that the number one priority of Zappos is company culture, saying, “If you have a higher purpose for employees and a vision they can relate to, even the most mundane activities can be inspiring.”

Several Cleveland Clinic patients spoke of their experiences, including correspondent and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Scott Simon, who discussed the patient perspective and the need for a trusting relationship between them and their care teams. “The role everyone plays in healing is different,” said Simon. “But each one of those roles is equally important.”

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy McDonnell, a double-lung transplant recipient, offered up a bit of advice to hospitals when she said, “You need to hire caregivers who have both brains and heart." We also heard Doug Lyons’s inspiring story of his family’s experiences. “Patients are people. Interesting, complicated, wonderful people. Listen to them,” said Lyons.

Rob Bazemore, President at Janssen Biotech, shared his personal story as a cancer survivor during a keynote presentation. Bazemore admitted that, during his course of treatment, he wondered if he would ever get to see his children grow up. He emphasized that a better patient experience equals better outcomes, and that his own patient experience is at the top of his mind every day when making strategic business decisions for Janssen, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Informative breakout sessions were led by subject-matter experts on relevant patient experience topics, such as “Building Your Office of Patient Experience,” led by Mary Linda Rivera, Executive Director of Patient Experience at Cleveland Clinic, and Nina Setia, Chief Experience Officer at New York University Langone Medical Center. In this engaging session, participants learned the necessary building blocks to developing a solid patient experience office, shared best practices on organizational structure and service improvement programs, and reviewed key elements in shifting the culture of an organization to one that recognizes the need for a strong patient experience.

In the “Developing a Service Excellence Program” breakout session, hosted by Toya Gorley, Director of Service Excellence and Patient Advocacy at Cleveland Clinic, participants learned key elements of Cleveland Clinic’s Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.™, a model for service excellence that is integrated into Cleveland Clinic’s culture. The discussion reviewed the importance of an organizational commitment to service excellence, the roles managers and supervisors play in establishing service excellence in their local areas, the results Cleveland Clinic has seen in changing employee culture to one that emphasizes a positive patient experience, and how this culture change can be implemented in any organization, regardless of size.

Dr. Adrienne Boissy, staff physician at Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis, led a lively panel discussion centered on “How to Improve Physician Communication with Patients,” which included six physicians discussing their focus on improving interactions between physicians and patients at their organizations and the benefits seen from this. Panelists explained the importance of asking patients more than “yes or no” questions and how improved physician communication leads to better outcomes, a physical sense of well-being and an improved level of patient satisfaction.

These and additional breakouts allowed for more in-depth discussions and gave attendees opportunities to learn from the presenters and share their own best practices.

During the three-day Summit, many panelists and presenters shared their thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to the patient experience, including strategies to improve the patient experience, employee engagement, hospital architecture, the business of art and medicine and more. Session summaries will be posted to the site soon. Please check back for more information.

Attendees were also invited to join the Association for Patient Experience, a nonprofit, 501c(3) organization established to support healthcare professionals, patients and their families.

In addition to our attendees, we also thank Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc. (Premier Sponsor), Medical Mutual of Ohio and Press Ganey (Platinum Sponsors), and RL Solutions (Gold Plus Sponsor) for their tremendous support.

The 2nd Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit Recap

May 22-24, 2011
Intercontinental Hotel & Conference Center
Cleveland, Ohio

More than 700 people attended the 2nd Annual Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Summit on May 22-24 at the InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center on Cleveland Clinic's campus in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees came from 37 states, 6 countries and 239 hospitals, healthcare systems and businesses. There were some great panel discussions about managing patient expectations, practical ways to improve HCAHPS scores, the impact of technology on the patient experience, the effect of arts and environment on healing, employee engagement and much more.

In addition, attendees were invited to join the Association for Patient Experience, a nonprofit, 501c(3) organization established to support healthcare professionals, patients and their families.