The Patient Experience Toolkit


Even with renewed investment in patient satisfaction, many institutions are struggling to improve, often because they define the ambition too narrowly or pursue a campaign-style approach.

To achieve lasting improvements in patient experience scores, nurse leaders must re-scope their goals to address patients' overall experience, rather than discrete HCAHPS measures.

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Three-part holistic framework

While stand-alone initiatives require constant leadership attention and direction, a holistic strategy can provide a consistent framework to guide frontline staff behavior. The Center recommends a three-part approach for improving the patient experience:

  • Cultivate caregiver empathy. Caregivers who understand the patient experience can better anticipate common sources of anxiety, treat patients as individuals with unique needs, and internalize the need for compassion and sincerity.
  • Overcome universal process barriers. Learn how to address three common process pitfalls—unnecessary patient disruptions, unmet real-time patient needs, and unclear next steps for patients and families.
  • Diagnose institution-specific needs. Identify the unique processes that detract from the patient experience by seeking current and former patients' input.

Download the Toolkit

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