Creating & Leading Patient Experience Excellence

Written by: Fleming. Team

Dr. Ahmed Mohammad Abu-Abah
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Hospital

What is your patient experience plan for 2017? What will you do differently?

We will focus on three main domains: improving the patient-driven culture by innovative ideas, investing more on improving the patient experience by collaborating with leading institutions in this field, then being accredited in patient experience. Here are more details about this plan.

1. Internal innovative projects aiming to improve patient driven culture like:

  • Inpatients and outpatients, patient experience rounds
  • CEO patient experience rounds
  • Patient experience awareness of the staff.
  • Smile: a project to improve communication between healthcare providers and patients
  • Thank you: another project as a way of using health care appreciation to improve mutual respect

2. Cleveland Clinic Collaboration: This collaboration will focus on the following aspects:

  • Training
  • On-site Visit and Observation
  • Initiatives
  • Knowledge Sharing and Transfer

This collaboration may also include patient experience on-site assessment and future participation in a patient experience leadership forum.

3. Planetree Designation Accreditation: The Planetree Person-Centered Care Designation represents the highest level of achievement in patient-centered care based on evidence and standards. The program provides a structured, operational framework for evaluating the organizational systems and processes necessary to sustain organizational culture change. Through a set of experience-based and evidence-based criteria, the program converts the aspirational aim of becoming more “patient-centered” into something that is defined, attainable and measurable.

What are the most common pitfalls among organizations when pursuing / trying to improve patient experience?

The most common pitfalls are:

1. Implementing the culture
2. Understanding the patient experience department and the staff’s role
3. Engaging the healthcare providers, especially physicians
4. Familiarizing the patient with their rights and responsibilities
5. Shortage of qualified staff trained in patient experience

How do you impact culture to develop your people around these concepts?

There’s no doubt that developing patient driven culture is a cornerstone in implementing a successful program; however, it is very difficult. These are some of the ideas that we implement in order to impact the culture:

1. Patient experience is part of our strategy and all the executive departments should have initiatives that improve patient experience.
2. Patient experience awareness programs which involve healthcare providers and patients
3. Engaging the healthcare provider to improve patient-centered care.
4. Teaching the patients their rights and responsibilities.
5. Implementing innovative ideas like executive rounds, the Smile program, the Thank you program and others.

How has technology supported the pursuit of patient experience excellence?

Technology has an important role in the implementation of patient experience in KAAUH. An important tool that is implemented through technology is communication. Technology has made communication more convenient by creating easy ways to communicate. We implement a 100% electronic filing system that provides confident storage and access to files for patients and allows healthcare providers to know what they need to know about the patient, so they can provide the best care. In our OPD, we have a fully automated system which starts with an electronic check-in (by fingerprint) and ends when the patient gets out with all the services he needed, wrapped up with an SMS message asking the patient to evaluate the services provided to him. We are about to launch our patient portal, where the patient will be able to access his EMR and get whatever information he needs in a timely and easy fashion.

For more information about the 1st GCC Patient Experience Summit, please write to or visit the link below:

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1st GCC Patient Experience Summit

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