Creating a Patient Experience Movement

Posted on Dec 15, 2013

The Beryl Institute Study Addresses the Patient Experience in Hospitals 

In 2013, more hospitals have created tactics to address the patient experience and have committed to the overall strategy as a top priority for the success of their organizations. The Beryl Institute, an organization dedicated to the improvement of the patient experience, conducted its bi-annual research study with Catalyst Healthcare Research to address the needs of patients in today’s healthcare system.

Jason Wolf, President, The Beryl Institute stated, “the bottom-line is clear, patient experience remains a top priority among American hospitals and continues to be a key issue for hospital leaders.”

The Beryl Institute defines the patient experience as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.

The results from the benchmarking study revealed positive trends in the improvement of the patient experience along with a continued increase in the focus on defining and supporting the patient experience movement. Responses included those of over 1,000 healthcare professionals, some including Chief Experience Officers representing nearly 700 organizations across the United States.

The study addressed many topics faced by organizations and patient experience practitioners in the industry. Some of the questions included:

  • How do healthcare leaders feel about the state of patient experience improvement within their organization?
  • What are some tactical approaches being taken by healthcare organizations to improve the patient experience?
  • What are the most-common roadblocks faced by professionals responsible for improving patient experience?
  • What role are incentives playing in moving toward improved patient experience?


In researching the ways that healthcare organizations are addressing the patient experience, the survey asked respondents to list their organizations top three priorities.

What was revealed through the open-ended question process was that the top overall priorities identified focused on tactical and tangible actions. The top five priorities for action indentified in 2013 almost mirrored the 2011 results. The top five priorities in 2011 were reducing noise, discharge process, rounding, responsiveness of staff/communication, and pain management. Reducing noise remains the top priority. The word cloud that resulted (below) represents the frequency with which a grouped theme appeared in the responses. The larger the word or phrase, the more often it was mentioned by the respondents.

patient experience

This study offered a broad, practical and grounded sample representing the largest to date collected on this topic. The responses provided insights of the current opportunities, challenges and successes of the patient experience effort. Some of the insights into the patient experience included:

•  Patient experience remains a top priority;

•  Leaders are gaining a more realistic perspective regarding improvement;

•  Patient experience continues to lack a formal definition;

•  Patient experience is addressed primarily through a committee structure;

•  Tactical issues are the top priorities used in addressing the patient experience;

•  Changes reveal a shift from reactionary to “in the moment” improvement;

•  Measurement now focuses on mandates, supplemented by traditional forms;

•  Strong leadership continues to support efforts; diffused focus now leads roadblocks.


The Beryl Institute is committed to continuing the conversation about the state of patient experience and providing information about the patient and their experience. The organization is also committed to building this community. Jason Wolf, Ph.D. President, The Beryl Institute, is an advocate for the patient experience movement and challenges each of us “to engage, to learn, to contribute, and to encourage the involvement of others.” How do you plan to contribute?

You can read Wolf’s most recent blog post on his views regarding the patient experience movement online:

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