Hear from the CXOs: Emerging Leaders of Engagement in Healthcare


01.04.2018 • Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

IMG_3718.jpgThis week’s MedCity ENGAGE conference in San Diego, CA generated a great discussion forum for various topics related to clinician and patient engagement. What specifically brought me to the conference was the dedicated Chief Patient Experience Officer (CXO) panel on the second day, and I’ve pulled together key takeaways and highlights from that particular panel.

The panel moderator, Greg Caressi of Frost & Sullivan and the MedCity News article following the panel underlined how the CXO is emerging as an executive leadership role in healthcare organizations.

All three panelists (Dr. Thomas Savides, CXO at UC San Diego Health; Dr. Sara Laskey, CXO at MetroHealth System; and Alan Dubovsky, CXO at Cedars-Sinai Health System) are all first incumbents of this role in their respective institutions. 

The panelists’ responses to the question on why their respective healthcare networks established the new role reiterated the industry-wide need for the hospital CXO:

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    Strategic focus - According to Savides, the fact that he directly reports to the CEO shows UC San Diego Health’s strategic focus on patient experience.

  • Patient as consumer of healthcare and design thinking in care delivery - Laskey sees her role as the “head of user experience in healthcare” at MetroHealth System.

  • Resource alignment - Dubovsky’s new role brings a systematic framework to already successful but previously disparate patient experience initiatives at Cedars-Sinai Health System.

There can be no discussion of patient experience and the CXO role without mentioning HCAHPS. The shared message among the panelists was, “HCAHPS brought the CXO role to the forefront, but …”

Each panelist underlined a different aspect of their role to complete the sentence after the “but” and explained how their role goes beyond monitoring HCAHPS scores:

  • Big E experience - Savides, as an MD in the CXO role, leads a patient experience office that takes care of everybody’s experience - clinical staff members and patients alike.

  • World of online reviews - Managing brand loyalty is squarely within the responsibility of the CXO. (You can check out this earlier piece about how this responsibility of the CXO brings marketing/social media and patient experience departments together for cross-function collaboration to improve patient experience.) In Laskey’s words, “We live in the Yelp world now - whether we like it or not.

  • Monitoring provider burnout - There is a clear connection between how providers feel about their work and patients’ perceptions of that work. Dubovsky shared his belief that "we haven’t even scratched the surface" of  this connection to foster the continuous improvement of patient experience.

Hospitals established the CXO position to put an executive leader in charge of all things related to providing patients with excellent care experiences.

This panel of prominent leaders in the CXO position ended their discussion on a very clear note: The CXO needs to work with, learn from and act on patients’ comments as experience data. To execute well and effectively, the CXO needs to hear the voice of their patients and that voice is in patients’ comments.

It is great to hear - as part of a collegial panel discussion - the significance of our mission at NarrativeDx within the healthcare industry as a whole. It was also wonderful to hear Dubovsky’s remarks on the work his team at Cedars-Sinai Health System is doing with NarrativeDxto draw insights from thousands of patients’ comments so we know what all those comments mean.

At NarrativeDx, we help CXOs with this next critical step in patient experience metrics and measurement around gaining actionable insights from patients’ comments - from surveys, rounding or social media. We’re here to partner with CXOs who are ready to execute on all aspects of their role as the new leaders of engagement in healthcare.

Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP is the Founder and Chief Patient Experience Officer (CXO) at NarrativeDx. Follow Senem on Twitter: @SenemNDx

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Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

Senem Guney, PhD, CPXP

Founder and Chief Patient Experience Officer, NarrativeDx

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