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A Year in Review: The Top 5 Articles of 2019

2019 has marked yet another year of the technological revolution, with the workforce becoming more and more dependent on technological innovations, and much of it becoming automated. The force of consumer preferences is becoming even more powerful as industries customize experiences to meet consumer expectations, and healthcare continues to be disrupted by more convenient and high-tech options like Amazon and MinuteClinics.

NRC Health strives to maintain a focused and helpful narrative to enable you, our readers, to stay ahead of changes in the healthcare industry. This year, you resonated most with the following five articles.


How one Houston emergency department fixed their throughput and improved overall satisfaction by 20%

Extraordinary care depends on extraordinary relationships. At least, that’s how Willowbrook Hospital’s ED nurse manager Heather Cofer sees it. Utilizing NRC Health’s Real-time solution, Willowbrook’s CEO Keith Barber worked with the ED staff to determine areas of improvement for the hospital.

Patient feedback communicated that the ED was rife with poor communication, and a disorganized admissions process and long wait times were causing unfavorable patient experiences.

In this article, you can learn the specific tactics behind Willowbrook’s success in shearing these wait times down significantly—and improving patient-experience scores by 22% in the process.


Executive Q&A with Dennis W. Pullin, President and CEO at Virtua Health System

How can healthcare use insights from innovative tech giants like Amazon and Apple to improve the care experience? Virtua Health System’s President and CEO, Dennis Pullin, has a few ideas, saying, “Much of healthcare takes place outside of the four walls of the hospital or doctor’s office, so that’s where we have to go in order to be the most impactful.”

Healthcare is personal, and an organization’s service should reflect that. Consumers demand more than just quality care—they want excellent service. Pullin emphasizes that it is vital to treat the whole patient by being a part of their life even when there isn’t an emergency or crisis.

Learn how Pullin achieves this at Virtua Health, along with more ideas that every health organization should consider.


“No rounding logs”: How Vidant Health is bringing humanity back to healthcare

Julie Kennedy Oehlert, DNP, Chief Experience Officer at Vidant Health in eastern North Carolina, isn’t threatened by the rise of retail clinics. She sees them as a challenge.

“It’s a call for change,” Julie says. “These innovations are patients saying that healthcare organizations aren’t giving them what they want.”

Part of the problem stems from an imperfect picture of patients’ experiences. While CAHPS is an important data source, it disregards patients’ preferences for delivering feedback and fails to capture the quality of the relationship with the patient.

Julie has some ideas for how to achieve fuller, richer patient relationships. She spells some of them out in this article.


Inspired innovation: Field notes from the front lines of healthcare’s progress

Technological advancements of the 21st century have upended care delivery. But the work of innovating the care experience is far from complete. Human innovation will be as much a part of healthcare’s future as the clinical strides that have already transformed our lives. Five arenas will be particularly fruitful for innovation in the human experience: artificial intelligence, access to care, the medical workforce, transparency, and experience.

In a broad survey of care to come, this article reviews how these five forces will shape the future of care—and how health systems should position themselves to take advantage of future opportunities.


Four overlooked strategies that healthcare executives can use to create a better care experience

Ambition is a hallmark of every healthcare leader’s work. In pursuing a perfected patient experience, such leaders rightly spend their days conceiving and executing major strategic initiatives to push their organization forward. They should not, however, miss the smaller opportunities that can make an outsized difference for their patients.

In this article, NRC Health Vice President Brian Wynne explores four relatively simple steps that healthcare organizations can take to radically improve patients’ perceptions—and that all too often go overlooked by hospital leadership. What opportunities might your organization be missing?


We’re looking forward to another year of bringing consumer perspectives into focus. Thank you again for reading.