Health and Care in a Capitalist Economy: Understanding Your Maturity

Any successful business can only be sustained by the continuous “win-win” outcome of the provider-consumer interaction. The health and care marketplace is the litmus test that determines not only success, survival, and advancement, but also discrepancies in the win-win balance that can deteriorate the relationship and portend for failure. This is particularly true in an era where the patient (customer) experience is growing in importance in hospitals, general practices and allied health providers. Consumer-directed care is also embedded in the funding structures for the aged care sector as well as the National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS).

Such discrepancies can be due to:

  • the experience the consumer has,
  • his/her emotional judgment based on that experience,
  • provider engagement to identify or ignore gaps in person-centered care and implement or disregard remedies,
  • whether there is execution of such remedies in service recovery, quality improvement and policy change
  • the culture of quality or service excellence (or the lack thereof) that results in an evolution (or not) of consumer-centered maturity.


Evolution is a maturation into any department or organisation’s vision and mission statement, while the status quo is the path to failure.

Separating the trees for the forest – Measuring What Matters

With so much at stake, many organisations struggle to know what to measure and as well as how to measure what matters. Many are undertaking customer, patient or client survey, with a wealth of data and information fed back through manual or digital channels. Whilst drowing in data, many managers are starving of wisdom; with measurement systems in place, the challenge then becomes knowing HOW to improve the consumer experience.


The answer lies in an individual, department or organisation’s capabilities for improvement. There is a need to develop audits and tools to identify capabilities for improvement and potential pitfalls in the win-win formula. At Energesse, we have spent the last 7 years developing a scientific methodology, underpinned by an emerging algorithm that leverages six categories (each an “e”):

E1 – Experience

E2 – Emotions

E3 – Engagement

E4 – Execution

E5 – Excellence

E6 – Evolution


While this ‘6e’ categorisation may seem as if it were plucked out of life intuitively, it actually has been developed from forensic outcome analyses that best identify gaps in the provider/consumer interaction and best predict their respective remedies. It has the potential to become a ‘gold standard’ methodology for health & care experience improvement, similar to how 6sigma/ lean methodology has become applied to process improvement.


Data accrued via systematic surveys, from all levels in the provider/consumer experience, encompass all of the disparate parameters at work in any complex interaction of care. The tangled web of interactions vs misconnections at patient, provider and organizational level and the arithmetic of synergy vs crossed paths are thus combed and preened.  This so that a meaningful input of qualities and quantities of targeted capabilities can be used to construct tangible results that are addressable. Hospitals, practices, aged care homes and disability care centres have significant resource constraints and can’t do everything. Focus and targeting is the key to successful improvements, particularly at the front-line of care, where it matters most.


The many facets of a dynamic, however, can become daunting without perspective. If trouble brewing from a multifactorial dysfunction (e.g. uncompassionate leadership, misguided policy, poor environment) is threatening a down spiral, where does the fix start? If a provider entity is successful, how does one maintain this to prevent the seeds of dysfunction?


Distinguishing the forest for the trees – What Matters Most to YOU

To understand which capabilities matters most to your department, clinic, hospital or center, data from our PXme evaluations are inserted into the Energesse tool to produce a result that can be displayed visually as a snapshot of the general health of the patient experience capabilities and gaps. Any win-win relationship is a partnership, and the data from our surveys canvasses a sample of stakeholders delivering the experience, from administrators to providers to consumer representatives. As such, all members of the “partnership” contribute.


The resulting graphic presentation—the Energesse Patient Experience Maturity Map

—depicts an instantly informative gestalt of the health of the provider/client partnership, which internal capabilties are strongest, and which need the most attention.


The architecture behind the Maturity Map graphic is based on the Energesse Patient Experience Maturity Model, which is a scoring system determined by comprehensive explorations into the provider/client partnership; that is, identifying the specific patient population or populations (target), wards, healthcare facility, or even community where improvement is needed in the experience of care:

One “e” at a time

While e1 = Experience is the first priority in terms of developing your experience measurement capability, each “e” is essential. As such, the above presents an excerpt of the Model only. In subsequent editions each of the 6 e’s will be explored while keeping the motif of the multifactorial whole of a health & care organization always in perspective when it comes to experience improvement.

Such is the value of Patient Experience Maturity Evaluation (PXme) as a starting point and an accelerator towards a more person-centered industry.

To learn more about the PXme, contact my team at We’d love to hear from you.



Breaking News! Winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Awards

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Award (Asia)…

Bagan Specialist Centre (BSC) in Penang, Malaysia

Here’s a bit of background on their journey….

In August 2017, Energesse undertook a two-day 6E training session for 30 different public and private hospitals in Malaysia. After the training session, the participants were challenged with planning, developing and implementing a patient experience improvement initiative in their settings, using Energesse’s 6E Framework. In the 3 months following the training, Bagan Specialist Centre engaged the 6Es – Experience, Emotions, Engagement, Execution, Excellence, Evolution – in the improvement of the patient experience in Food Services.

We travelled to Penang to present the award to them and saw first-hand the improvement BSC Food Services made to provide healthy food on-the-go to patients during the temporary closure of their cafeteria. They initiated the improvement after measuring patient Experience and Emotions regarding lack of dining options (which was negatively affecting patients’ experience at wait times). Staff Engagement at team departmental meetings resulted in ideas to address the issue. Execution of the solution involved transforming an old abandoned trolley into a mobile food cart offering a variety of nutritious meals. It was wheeled around the hospital outpatient and inpatient units by food services staff. BSC achieved Excellence when they saw a 10.2% decrease in the amount of feedback and an average patient satisfaction score of 3.5 which exceeded the hospital’s target rating of 3.0. In a bid to see constant Evolution of their solution, monthly analysis of the sales of food items and food costs were performed to ensure that mobile food cart items offered to BSC patients and visitors were culturally appropriate and sustainable.

Here are some pics from the Training and Award presentation… 

Congratulations Bagan Specialist Centre!

Watch this space for the Australian winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Award…

If you want to find out more about how the 6E Framework can help you with your patient experience initiatives, talk to us!

The Energesse Patient Experience Awards is an award established to recognise the efforts of a health setting in improving the patient experience through the utilisation of the Energesse 6E Framework. The judging panel for the Award was made up of Dr Avi Ratnanesan (CEO, Energesse), Michael Greco (CEO, Patient Opinion Australia), Simon Kimber (MES UK), Nick Goodman (MES UK), Ashok Rudy (Director, Energesse Malaysia) and Kiran Nair (Research Manager, Energesse).


A Patient Story to Inspire You Today…

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve come back refreshed from the holidays and ready to start the year off with a bang! Here’s an inspirational story to help you – with your New Year resolutions, your own personal health or your understanding of the patients and consumers you encounter everyday.

I met Alana Henderson, a patient advocate, at a HISA talk late last year. A woman who had a stroke at the age of 59 (not to mention diabetes and cancer) who changed her life by project managing her health like an engineer. Find out more about how she transitioned out of her dire health circumstances (for less than AUD$300!) through her book ‘Out of the Fog’ (available on Amazon) OR watch the interview below now…

Alana’s key message to practitioners and providers is to ‘not be afraid of what patients do for themselves’. Support the involvement they have in their own care and you can be assured of delivering a meaningful patient experience.

Talk to us now if you are thinking of spearheading initiatives this year around just that! We’ve all the advice, support, training or technology you might need.


The 3 Key Steps to Cultural Transformation – You’ll want to know this!

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Denver, USA, attending the Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference 2017. I had the opportunity to interview Dr Jeremy Blanchard, who is the Chief Medical Officer at the Language of Caring on the pre-aspects to cultural change and creating mastery in patient experience. Watch the video below to find out more!

Contact me for tips on how to engage your physicians in improving patient experience!

If you’re ready, call me directly. If you’re not, you can help advance the patient experience movement (and your own knowledge) by clicking on our survey!




An Interview with Gerard Ratnam on Patient Experience

Nothing spoke to my passion more than the events that took place in the last couple of weeks. I was invited to speak at the Malaysian Cancer Care Conference in KL and was then interviewed on prime time TV about patient experience. The experiences of cancer survivors who attended the conference helped spread the word about consumer empowerment. I emphasised this key message in my engagement with both the conference and media audience – asking patients to push to get the support they need and to the health provider and clinician in measuring and delivering a better experience for the patient.

Watch the video below to find out more.

If you’re struggling to engage your clinicians in improving the patient experience, call or email us NOW for answers!




6 Ways to Unbungle THAT Cancer Bungle



You would have seen the recent headlines about ‘Patients left in the dark after Federal Government secretly bungled new national cancer screening programs’, namely, a delay of 6 months of the rollout of new cervical and bowel screening programs, potentially risking thousands of lives. Let’s leave out the sensationalism and look at this case study from the lens of the 6E patient experience framework:



[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Experience:  There are no safeguards in the interim to counter the delay. Research conducted on 212 cancer patients in Canada has shown that increased wait times affect perceptions of information, instructions, and the overall treatment provided by physicians. Essentially, the initial perceptions of what would have been a very positive government move are now likely to put patient perceptions of all stakeholders and drivers of the program, at risk. A robust communications strategy and associated PR plan would advise key stakeholders, including patients, of issues that might impact them and this needs to include monitoring and management of social media.

[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Emotion: Women are unable to access the new human papillomavirus screening and have limited access to the old Pap smear program which is ‘already being wound down’. Patient emotions around this lack of access are likely to run the gamut of anger, frustration, worry and uncertainty. The ideal way to address this is through clear and transparent communication around causes of the delay and most importantly, what is being done to address the needs of the high-risk segment in the interim.

[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Engagement:  The Department of Health and Telstra (awarded the contract to roll National Cancer Screening Register) are working together with the states and pathology companies to find a solution. In ensuring that these talks don’t take place in silos, they can also be complemented with discussions with patient representatives from high-risk and low-risk groups. Getting buy-in from the start with patients ensures greater buy-in during the path to resolution and the resolution itself.

[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Execution:  Indicative reasons for the delay include a lack of specialist staffing (only 1 in 5 pathologists available beyond May) and technical problems around the National Cancer Screening Register. These barriers, which seemed to be identified too late, illustrate a potential lack of planning (forecasting specialist resources) and insufficient risk mitigation strategies (foreseeing technical risks and winding down the old screening program too quickly). The most urgent element currently is to investigate solutions for high-risk groups. Seeking assistance from private hospitals could be key to the solution.

[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Excellence:  Continued monitoring of media, building open and transparent communication lines through patient and stakeholder engagement platforms, risk mitigation and flexibility in solution development, would allow for a smoother implementation of the program when ready and (hopefully!) override its initial negative publicity around ‘over-promising and under-delivering’.

[icon name=”search” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Evolution:  There is an opportunity to roll out the program more broadly, to tap into other pre-existing registries that may have overlapping resources.  There is also the need to keep in mind that screening is just one step of the patient journey; there are a myriad of touch points for a new cancer patient that requires equal focus. In fact, I presented at the Malaysian Cancer Care Conference just a few days ago that included an audience of cancer survivors who were calling for the government and healthcare providers to consider their needs across the whole journey.

One of the many lessons we can take from the ‘cancer bungle’, is that it is better to do everything you can to get it right the first time – or risk having to clean up an (unforeseen) mess.

Find out how Energesse can help you get it right from the start – reach out to us now!


1 Patients left in the dark after Federal Government secretly bungled new national cancer screening programs’:
2Use of screening tests, diagnosis wait times, and wait-related satisfaction in breast and prostate cancer

Top 5 Painful Mistakes of Health Tech Companies (and how to avoid them!)

In my last 20 plus years involved in health and technology innovation, I’ve experienced  many successes and failures commercialising new, innovative products and services into health markets. Even the failures were huge learnings and eventually became my biggest successes as they formed the foundational building blocks of my future business growth.

Failures are indeed a founder’s launchpad upon which new health technologies can be adopted into the marketplace.

It is a true privilege to be able to create something that is ultimately used by a patient or consumer of health products and services where the benefit enables them to ease their pain and suffering or improve social and health outcomes. Sometimes this pain and suffering can be experienced by the clinician or management executive, and solving that problem for them enables an exponential benefit for their organisation’s impact on health and social outcomes.

Having worked with some of the largest innovative health organisations in this country including BUPA Health Insurance, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity (Federal Government agency), Pfizer, Westmead Hospital as well as creating startup health innovation companies such as Energesse, I’ve seen many of these mistakes inadvertently replicated and helped implement strategies to avoid such costly mistakes.

Here are some of the top 5 commonest mistakes we’ve seen:

1. Wrong identification of the customer

A lot of health tech companies don’t really understand who their real customer is. For example a health tech company develops a software that helps with diagnosing Type 2 diabetes and assumes that the software is something that can be used by the patient (end-consumer). Very often the software team have not done specific enough research into the various stakeholders along the patient journey, who are critical to the software getting into the hands of the consumer.

Tech CEO’s can often miss that the true customers may either be the GP, the diabetes nurse, a pharmaceutical company, or a family member of the diabetic patient.

The different customer vs end-user ‘avatars’ mean that the product has to be very significantly adapted, taking into account requirements of all relevant stakeholders.  Without this clarity of customer understanding, this results in a large amount of resources (time, funding, effort) wasted developing, marketing and selling a platform that isn’t actually user friendly or acceptable to the true end-customer.

The way to overcome this is to actually have deep research (observational, focus groups, surveys, subject matter expert feedback), not just theoretical research on the end-customer. The extra time it takes to conduct this research can save months and even years of an expensive product development cycle, yet it is often undervalued time by product developers. Some of whom who occasionally lack research capabilities, communication skills, or confidence in communicating with real people, having grown up in a digitally-connected world.

2. Incorrectly identifying customer need

Founders of health tech companies are also often not truly get specific enough on the customer need. They can often determine what the customer need is today but founders should bear in mind that the customer need evolves very quickly as customer expectations rise all the time.

The development team has to build your product in anticipation of what the consumer will need in the next 6, 12, to 24, to 48 months, depending on the length of the product sales cycle.

In the case of the diabetic patient for example, the tech founder may build a product that solves the problem for the end consumer today but it may become obsolete in 12 months, right at the point of commercialization into the marketplace.

Health tech founders therefore need to be forward-thinking in anticipating what customers/buyyers/consumers will need in the future rather than today. They also have to be very specific about exactly how the product is going to be used i.e. how it will be used in the hands of the consumer or user themselves, be it a health professional or patient.

3.  Poorly communicating the value proposition

I find it challenging to sit through another pitch from a health tech founder who cannot clearly articulate to his or her audience the value of their product to each specific customer. While their hearts are often in the right place and they want to help people with their product, some health tech entrepreneurs struggle to clearly communicate what the benefit of the product is to each customer, stakeholder or investor in clear, specific and terms.

The health industry can be very complex, with corresponding medical jargon in equal proportion! Removing the medical terminology as much as possible and keeping it simple for end consumers, investors, and other industry stakeholders is critical to successful uptake and sales.

It is imperative that health tech founders clearly articulate the “what’s in it for me (WIIFM)” for each stakeholder. Every stakeholder is motivated by self-interest to some degree and the health tech founder needs to understand what these interests are. You can then be very clear and specific about how the product can either aid the health, financial, social, or community interest of that stakeholder, or all of the above in the pitch.

4. Giving up too soon

There is a fine line between persistence and knowing when to call it quits. That hunger for success can often be lacking amongst founders, especially in their daily behavior, which ultimately results in their failure.

It is therefore important to have the necessary networks of family, friends, colleagues, and mentors to provide this strategic advisory support as well as the emotional backing required to endure the journey of numerous daily problems and failures in order to produce successful results long term.

Entrepreneurship is a long-term game. It requires passion, determination, and resourcefulness, more so than resources. Health tech founders can often give up well before their products time in the market has come and can be set back by the repeated failures.

It is important that founders dig deep into their own emotional resourcefulness as well as financial resources in order to make their product successful. I personally have had to sell my entire real estate portfolio in order to make my company successful and I barely thought twice about those decisions. My mission to help patients and the health of the planet is unstoppable and I was always going to use everything at my disposal to make it a success (within moral and legal grounds, of course!).

5. Unclear on purpose

I therefore highly recommend that health tech founders get clear on their vision and purpose of their company. In particular, I would recommend the Ikigai tool as a starting point to [workout] what their personal purpose is, which is often the driver of the purpose of the business and product. I hope these tips prove useful to fellow health tech founders, CEOs, and team members who wish to make a difference in the world with their technology.

I have found that successful people in general are often able to endure the long, arduous journey of bringing their product to commercialisation if they’re not truly and deeply connected with a clear purpose.

The Founder or CEO who gains fulfilment and understands the larger meaning of the product that they are bringing to market is far more likely to be authentic in their communication, particularly in communicating the vision of their offering to investors and customers. This authenticity in human connection can help compensate for any lack of strategic insight or communication skills to influencing the sales process. Authenticity on purpose can ultimately help bring people on board with your product especially in the early days of your commercialization journey.

If you are commercializing an innovative healthcare technology, let’s have a conversation today about truly understanding what your customers need from you before you try selling them a product they don’t really want.

Book a time with me NOW and save yourself months of anguish!

It could prevent you on wasting tens of thousands of dollars that could be spent on actually helping your customers & patients – it happens far too often in this industry!

Book a time here !

The Often Overlooked Clinician Element in Patient Experience

energesseIt’s not the narrow furrow of compensation plans, salary scales or allowances that keeps the doctors on the right side of patient experience.

It’s the broader view of ‘engagement’ – actions that invite doctors into the fold of strategic and operational plans, perhaps training that allows them to engage fully and more effectively in their purpose or asking the right questions around THEIR daily experience at the hospital.

A highly engaged clinician feels connected to their purpose and aligned to their career, their place of work, and their colleagues. As a result, they are able to approach each patient as an individual with physical, mental and emotional needs and cater their care around these needs.

The Greenslopes Private Hospital Network (GPHN) in Queensland did a great job at clinician engagement recently. We helped them undertake a research project around understanding the level of satisfaction among 300 junior doctors’ within the GPHN training programme.

We helped them design an online survey, choose its mediums, analyse and benchmark survey outcomes and provide recommendations for their training programme, based on the comments and suggestions made by the doctors.

There were some great wins in the form of a 50% response rate (highly unusual!), responses that exceeded expectations in quantity and quality, and useful feedback (nothing was held back!) about every element of the GPHN training programme.

Yes, our Energesse survey techniques worked. In addition, Greenslopes did these right:

  • They had already been building a foundation of transparent and honest communication between doctors and the HR management team
  • All doctors were informed about the survey from the beginning and its purpose was communicated well and frequently
  • A number of follow-up calls were made to some key doctors – who were then more than likely to have ‘spread the word’
  • Doctors who had already left Greenslopes for several years also responded to the survey
  • Upon completion, the GPHN Management thanked the doctors for their feedback and reiterated how they were going to use the responses and next steps
  • There was also one clear overall result – the GPHN private training programme had higher ratings when benchmarked against Australian public hospital training programme ratings

The survey was not compulsory, but there was a strong connection between the doctors and the management that kept them engaged enough in GPHN’s purpose to listen, to understand and to respond.

Jim Houston, the Director of Medical Services at Greenslopes, was very happy with the results. Here’s his testimonial. He is also presenting the outcomes at the upcoming Workforce Planning Healthcare Conference on the 5th of December 2016.

Here are a number of ways we can help you reach out to YOUR clinicians:

  • Research (surveys, interviews, focus groups) around clinician thoughts, needs and opinions
  • Training workshops to align clinicians to hospital goals such as patient experience
  • Granular monitoring of patient experience outcomes in real-time through our MES Technology

We would be happy to give you an overview via a presentation at your team meeting or grand round (monthly meeting). Just send me an email.


How To Eliminate Overwhelm and Frustration When You’re a Busy CEO

Having spent 20 years across various ‘busy’ roles from being medical doctor, senior corporate executive at Pfizer, technology entrepreneur and eventually in the CEO role my 3rd successive company, I’ve engaged with many fellow CEO’s and studied their behaviours in life and work. I found that the successful ones had some common traits and the ‘unsuccessful’ ones had some common traits too.

Success is defined by an individual, but for CEO’s or Political leaders this is also defined by their boss, shareholders, employees, customers or constituents. Nonetheless, CEO’s are constantly under pressure to meet targets, deal with crisis, fulfil multiple obligations and still be expected to lead a ‘healthy and normal’ personal and family life. As CEO’s understand their own ‘BS’ more deeply, they become more self-aware that their very own behaviours can exacerbate their current ‘crisis’. A CEO can be his or her own worst enemy.

Since I began coaching CEO’s over 8 years ago, I have learnt and taught several techniques to help them continue to pursue their careers at higher levels, whilst managing their responsibilities in their personal life. Often they even have difficulty connecting the relationship between the two worlds, which forms part of the problem.

1.   Quit

This is a perfectly legitimate option. For some CEO’s the pressure of the workload and circumstances surrounding their personal life require more time to be focused on the latter or risk causing irreparable damage to their health or family relationships. In such situations, quitting may appear to be the only option.

However, in some cases, this may also be a ‘get out clause’, used as an excuse for being unwilling to acknowledge one’s own mistakes or recognize how their own behaviours have contributed to their current negative circumstances. In these situations, the vicious cycle of frustration is likely to repeat in future roles.

2.   Be More Present

There is an accepted philosophy that ‘anxiety comes from living too much in the future’ and ‘depression comes from thinking too much about the past’. Busy CEO’s tend to be focused on the next thing even before the current task or interpersonal interaction has ended.

The focus is more on the clock, than on the person in-front of them. This gives an illusion of efficiency and speed, only to find later that subordinates haven’t really understood their instructions and made mistakes that need rework. The actual reason was because they weren’t communicated to in a patient and appropriate manner by their CEO.

The science of Mindfulness has now perpetuated the mainstream corporate and healthcare arena with companies like Google implementing programs for its ‘hypertalented, hyperactive’ employees, both young and old. The program has been such a great success that other Fortune 500 companies have adopted similar mindfulness practices with their own CEO’s and executives

3.   Change Your Expectations, Allow Another Reality

Many CEO’s are consummate achievers that have high expectations of themselves and therefore others. Frustration is an emotion that arises when those expectations are not met. For example, when you expect your CFO to complete the budget in 24 hours, but they can’t get it done on time. Or you expect to meet your annual company goals, but you fall short. Or perhaps you expect your password to work on your company and it doesn’t – all these situations give rise to frustrations.

A relief is felt when you change your expectations. I don’t mean lower them, I mean change them. Perhaps your CFO was being more thorough, and would deliver a more robust budget tomorrow. Perhaps falling short of your annual company goals provides you with a better business case to hire more talented staff. Perhaps your password error means your IT security has just been upgraded and you’ve just averted a major cyber-attack on your servers. Once CEO’s change their expectations and allow new realities to emerge, they can come out mentally stronger.

4.   Meditate

There are now hundreds of thousands of forms of meditations from a multitude of cultures. The benefits are espoused in traditional literature as well as modern science, and can help CEO’s manage overwhelm and stress over the long term. The body of evidence on medicine has exploded in recent years and MRI scans now even denser grey matter in the brains of frequent meditators. Personally, I have found the practice life-changing and allowed me to tap into greater creative thinking and problem-solving ability, as well as more focus and concentration. My initial time investment started at 5 minutes a day (on trains, planes and other ‘dead’ times) and I’ve worked upwards from there, to great effect.

5.   Find your Ikigai

The Japanese believe that every human being has a purpose or a higher calling, which they called their Ikigai. The French call it the ‘raison d’etre’ i.e reason to be. Regardless of race, religion, work status or nationality, having a clear purpose in life and connecting with the meaning of your work allows you to see beyond short term frustrations and bad days, and understand how they actually contribute to your personal growth, vision and mission.

CEO’s that connect with their Ikigai in an authentic manner don’t have to fake liking their job; they love their job and it shows. It shows to their employees, it shows to their customers and it shows to their shareholders. It allows them to tap into a deeper sense of fulfilment and commitment, that sees them through their business challenges and personal hardships.

The first step to finding your Ikigai is to simply answer 4 questions as genuinely as possible, and to find the intersection. The 4 questions are:

1.     What do you love doing?
2.     What does world need? (problem to solve)
3.     What can I get paid for? (how to monetize)
4.     What am I good at? (True Strengths)


The truth is that there are quick and easy solutions for CEO’s to minimize overwhelm and frustration in the short term (days to weeks). However, in order to achieve a higher level of performance in the long term (weeks to months to years), I often advise my clients that behavior change is an active process that requires more effort, but yields much greater more satisfying rewards in life, career and legacy.

How will the Patient Experience evolve in Australia?

Australia is embarking on a major journey to put patients at the center of decision-making in the healthcare system. In order for us to understand how the patient experience landscape in Australia will change over the coming decade, we can observe the trends in the US as an example.

The pioneering hospitals in the US that invested in measuring and improving the Patient Experience did so because they believed was the ‘right thing to do’. This first phase was driven by the investment of ‘early adopters’. Their leadership had a belief that patients should be involved in various committees in the hospital’s administration to influence service delivery. 

The next big phase that brought greater change to the system was the public reporting of quality measures by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, the primary funder in the US. This reporting of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey on hospital websites drove senior leaders to take a greater focus on metrics that were important to patients. 

Note that there is a difference between active reporting and passive reporting. As more active reporting occurs on various websites, and those findings communicated broadly, the greater the pressure on hospitals to be accountable to their results. 

Transparency breeds trust, and greater public reporting should bring greater trust and engagement with the patient community.

The subsequent phase took approximately four years from the initiation of public reporting in the US for funding to be specifically tied to Patient-Reported Outcome Measures and Patient Reported Experience Measures (Satisfaction Scores). These value-based payments will increase from 1% in 2015 of the hospital’s funding to higher percentages over the coming years.  It demonstrates a great commitment from the US health system to align its payment incentives to what patients really need and want from their healthcare.

I would expect similar trends to play out in Australia. Though, I expect we may be quicker in our adoption of patient-centred measures to drive change.

On another note, while in Dallas for the Beryl Institute Patient Experience Conference 2016, I connected with Jeff Kauffman a CEO from the aged-care (assisted living) sector  in the US, who had a couple of secrets on aligning staff incentives with the resident experience in such facilities. 

Enjoy this episode and let me know your feedback!