CXO role gains steam as consumers gain clout

CXO role gains steam as consumers gain clout

Not every healthcare provider has a chief experience officer, but more and more are finding that CXOs are key to enterprise-wide patient experience improvement and the alignment of quality, safety and performance strategies.

The 2015 Chief Experience Officer survey from Vocera bills itself as the first designed exclusively to capture the voice of CXOs and other senior-level experience professionals at hospitals and health systems in North America.

The role is an “essential and expanding executive position,” according the report, especially as patients are empowered with better education tools and more choice about the providers they choose.

“Consumerism has been on the horizon for quite some time in healthcare, and now it is here,” said Elizabeth Boehm, director of Vocera’s Experience Innovation Network, in a press statement. “Providers are seeing the shift and recognizing patients as consumers. Patients have choices of where they go for healthcare and expect the same level of experience they receive from other industries.”

Atop most CXOs’ to-do lists? Cultural transformation, according to the poll, followed closely by initiatives to improve patient satisfaction. Some 70 percent of respondents said building a “relationship-based culture” that focuses on improving communications between physicians and staff was a top priority for 2015.

“Improving staff resiliency and providing support or training for physicians, nurses and frontline staff” is critical, said Boehm. If the healthcare experience for patients and families is to be improved, “staff experience must first be addressed.”

Among other findings of the report, forty-two percent of survey participants cited improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS, scores as a main goal for 2015.

Toward that specific goal, and toward the larger mission of improving patient experience, CXO respondents identified four trends shaping their strategies: system collaboration and communication to provide seamless patient experiences; data transparency inside and outside the hospital and health system; technology enablement to remove barriers and improve efficiency and shifting perceptions from traditional patients to healthcare consumers.

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