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The power of building relational healthcare systems for consumers

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The power of building relational healthcare systems for consumers

In this episode of NRC Health’s Patient No Longer podcast we explore the the importance of adopting an appreciative approach to healthcare.


How caring for consumers builds relational healthcare systems, hosted by Ryan Donohue, thought leader, author, and strategic advisor with NRC Health  

Podcast Guest

Jason A. Wolf., PhD., CPXP, President and CEO of The Beryl Institute, Founder and President of the Patient Experience Institute, and Founding Editor of the Patient Experience Journal 

In the latest episode of Patient No Longer, Wolf emphasizes the importance of adopting an appreciative approach to healthcare, building on strengths, and recognizing that the essence of healthcare is not just about health but also the actual delivery of care.  


Healthcare leaders shifting toward an integrated and holistic patient-experience perspective will reenergize the workforce’s well-being. Wolf touches upon the limitations of traditional patient satisfaction surveys like CAHPS and suggests that focusing solely on survey results may not lead to improvements in healthcare. He advocates for a shift toward a more integrated patient-experience perspective that considers quality, safety, financial outcomes, and the well-being of each healthcare workforce. Measuring is important for an organization, he says, but relying on standardized surveys only captures a moment.

“I think if that is the indicator that we use, if that is our only metric for success, then we’re never going to feel like we succeeded,” he says. “I’m always cautious that people not use that as the pinnacle of judging how they’re doing, but rather use it as a baseline to understand these are the things that are important.” 

Healthcare’s shift from the transactional to the relational will create a more relational healthcare system.
Wolf says that patient experience has to be the core of each healthcare system, and the only way to achieve that is to shift from transactional to relational experiences. He suggests that in the next decade, the most significant advancement in patient experience will be establishing an experience-based healthcare system that considers patients, the healthcare workforce, and the broader community as integral components of a seamless and integrated care experience. 

“We have made healthcare transactional, and patients haven’t felt responsibility because we’ve made them objects of our care delivery,” he says. “The healthcare system hasn’t really ever asked for that level of responsibility or invited the partnership. The ability to engage patients and family members, their care partners as partners in care, is essential to the best outcomes.” 

Every healthcare interaction matters. Each time. From each employee.
Wolf highlights the significance of individual interactions in healthcare, emphasizing that every interaction, whether with patients, family members, or colleagues, is critical in shaping the overall patient experience. He underscores the responsibility of each individual to make interactions the best they can be to contribute to excellence in patient care. To excel at that, healthcare systems should foster a culture where people can bring their authentic selves to the healthcare environment, be empathetic, and trust themselves in providing the best care possible. 

“With that shift to a relational nature, it becomes fair to have conversations around everyone’s role in providing the best outcomes,” he says. “The new way of being, our new existence, is about creating partnership among our care teams around helping patients know that they’re part of what’s happening.” 

Listen to the Patient No Longer episode to learn whether Wolf is a Coke or Pepsi guy, see if he prefers fiction or nonfiction, and hear why Seinfeld is his all-time favorite show. 

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