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ICYMI: Discover how NRC Health builds trust through collaboration

Check out November’s snapshots highlighting how
we put Human Understandinginto practice.

Animal-assisted therapy offers hope and healing to patients at Phoenix’s Children’s

The Animal-Assisted Therapy program at Phoenix Children’s brings just the right attention that small patients need to feel more loved and comfortable at a hospital—all while improving their physical and mental condition.

Phoenix Children’s Animal-Assisted Therapy program (AAT) currently has 36 volunteer therapy animals, including 34 dogs and two cats, all registered with Pet Partners or similar professional organizations, plus two full-time dog handlers and their specially trained dogs. When staff recognize an opportunity to use animal-assisted therapy to benefit a patient, they enter a request, just as they would for an X-ray or a lab test. Then a coordinator matches the patient with the best therapy animal for the job and sends a team to the patient’s room with goals for a visit.

Mary Lou Jennings, Animal-Assisted Therapy Program Coordinator at Phoenix Children’s, remembers meeting a child and her family in the hallway who remembered the joy one of their therapy animals gave her.

“How wonderful is it that all a young patient can remember is, ‘Yeah, I was in the hospital, but they had dogs!’” she says. “She’s not scared of the hospital. It wasn’t a frightening experience. It’s not anything that she’s going to carry around for the rest of her life. That is huge!”

Jennings says there’s a lot of research that shows that having touch or eye contact makes a difference in a patient’s experience. And if you can offer them something like pet therapy, which stimulates a patient’s brain in a different way to think about something other than their current state, it improves a patient’s ability to cope.

Meet service dogs Gertie and Checkers and learn how unique human-animal bonds help patients heal.

How health systems can build patient confidence and trust through collaboration

Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center (WWGMC) leveraged an NRC Health correlation tool that used quantitative data to discover that confidence and trust in nurses and physicians are the two metrics most aligned with a positive patient recommendation.

“It takes a lot of work by everyone, and that work must start from the very top with our senior leaders, and then must trickle back down to our frontline,” says 2022 NRC Health Symposium speaker Julia Cox-Pearson, BSN, MBB, Director of Lean and Patient Experience at WWGMC. “The voice of our frontline staff must then move back up to our senior leaders to help us determine the best directions to elevate the voices of our customers.”

WWGMC, an employer of 1,400 with 247 beds, built processes and behaviors to improve confidence in nurses and physicians independently and mutually by tracking measures among inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory surgery populations—and their average “Overall Would Recommend” score grew from 71.1 to 76.8 in the past three years.

Discover four steps to identify trends in care through roundingto improve confidence and trust in nurses and doctors.

Using patient feedback data to improve perceptions around nursing staff

Nurses at Driscoll Children’s Hospital spend 24 hours a day with patients and families, and therefore have the most opportunities to influence the patient experience. So when patient-experience scores from a surgical floor stayed below the 30th percentile for the question, “How well did nurses explain things?” for two years, Driscoll’s leaders knew it was time to use NRC Health’s robust patient-feedback data to help align behaviors and initiatives around relationships between nurses and patients.

Before NRC Health’s patient-survey scores, Driscoll Children’s Hospital had a 5% response rate and only logged 175 comments per year. With NRC Health’s patient feedback data, they received a 30% response rate, with more than 5,000 comments per year.

“This gave us the opportunity and the quantity that we were looking for,” says 2022 NRC Health Symposium Speaker Evelyn Ferrer, MPH, HCA, ACHE, Senior Director of Organizational Development and Patient Relations at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “By looking at the questions and being able to drill down, you can really find out where your problems are,” she says. “And it’s a great source for recognition too.”

For Driscoll Children’s Hospital, NRC Health’s data was able to:

  • Provide immediate, real-time feedback
  • Deliver a larger quantity of data to create powerful, believable experience data for all stakeholders
  • Specify easily identifiable opportunities for improvement
  • Offer a deep well for recognition opportunities

Learn how accountability became a huge part of Driscoll’s leadership strategy.

Ferrer and Julie Piña, CNO of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, will be speaking at next year’s NRC Health Pediatric Collaborative, held on March 28–29, 2023, at Phoenix Children’s. Sign up today!

Mental health screenings are key to keeping kids healthy

Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended for the first time that physicians screen all adult patients under 65 for anxiety, acknowledging the extraordinary stress levels stemming from the global pandemic. The group said the guidance was intended to help prevent undetected mental health disorders.

The task force made a similar recommendation for children and teenagers earlier this year. Patient-feedback data reported in the NRC Health 2022 Pediatric Consumer Trends Report found that mental health hospitalizations of children have increased by 163% from 2020 to 2021. In early 2021, emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time in early 2019.

NRC Health’s emphasis on Human Understanding is an important framework for understanding mental health needs.

“If we’re devoted to Human Understanding, we should understand the entire child as well as the family system,” says Peggy Greco, Ph.D., Chief Patient Experience Officer at Nemours Children’s Health and a pediatric psychologist. “Only asking about physical or medical symptoms is just one piece of the puzzle; that’s not true understanding. Full Human Understanding necessitates assessing or identifying emotional state or mental health for the individual child as well as for the family system. It is important, even within medical environments, to have open conversations, set a safe stage, and build a trusted relationship in order to allow for assessment of the entirety of that human being.”

Learn from experts at Nemours Children’s Health and Wisconsin Children’s on steps they’re taking to provide more access to mental and behavioral health services.

How healthcare systems can expand sustainability to nurture communities

NRC Health’s Patient No Longer podcast features healthcare leaders who inspire a positive shift in Human Understanding and the customer experience. The latest episode, “Sustainability as a Strategy,” features David Lubarsky, MD, MBA, FASA, Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences and CEO for UC Davis Health.

Host Ryan Donohue, Solutions Expert and Strategic Advisor with NRC Health, talks with Lubarsky on how to achieve the highest global good and provide sustainability efforts to communities and patients at UC Davis Health. The integrated health system, which has approximately 17,000 employees, 1,000 students, 1,000 trainees, and 1,300 faculty members, is a large regional primary-care network that provides more than 1.5 million outpatient visits every year with an annual budget of $4.3 billion.

“We need to be thinking about our ROI as a non-profit organization, which is how we provide the greatest global good to the communities and patients we serve with the resources at hand,” Lubarsky says. “Too often, healthcare organizations are focused on the next pretty building. We’re undergoing a generational change at UC Davis, and we’re doubling the square footage on our campus. We took over the campus in ’77. We built about three million square feet, and we’ll be at seven million square feet in the next seven years. So we’re fundamentally changing the campus, and every single building is going to be LEED Certified, and we are really working hard to eliminate fossil-fuel use across our entire 150-acre campus.”

Learn how UC Davis is making changes for a more sustainable future.

NRC Health uncovers Human Understanding as the number-one driver of NPS

NRC Health, the leading provider of in-depth customer insights in healthcare, recently investigated drivers of brand perception in the market and drivers of experience perception following clinical encounters. The Human Understanding Metric (HUme)—”Did everyone treat you as a unique person?”—proved to be a powerful factor in both the market and the clinical setting.

So how should health organizations approach Human Understanding? The NRC Health analysis—which analyzed data from Market Insights, the largest online healthcare-consumer perception study in the United States, measuring the opinions, behaviors, and characteristics of more than 300,000 people annually—highlights five key points:

  1. Healthcare consumers who report that everyone treated them as a unique person during their most recent healthcare experience at their top-of-mind hospital are 295% more likely to rate that organization’s overall image/reputation as “Excellent.” The odds of a healthcare organization receiving an “Excellent” brand rating are more than nine times higher when healthcare consumers report that everyone at the organization treated them as unique. Market Insights data also shows that the odds of being a Net Promotor Score (NPS) Promoter are 12 times higher when patients report that everyone treated them as unique.
  2. Data from NRC Health’s Experience Feedback surveys, most of which are gathered within 48 hours of a clinical encounter, demonstrate that the extent to which people feel that everyone treated them as unique is the number-one driver of likelihood-to-recommend, and thus of NPS. In percentage terms, patients were between 38% and 58% more likely to be a Promoter if they felt that everyone at an organization treated them as unique. Other measures that had a strong relationship with NPS across organizations were “the provider listened,” the patient “received enough information about treatment,” and, in the three organizations that included the item, “the provider knew the patient’s medical history.”
  3. Participants in a series of focus groups conducted by the NRC Health Human Understanding Institute discussed behavioral signs of Human Understanding—what being treated as unique means in the real world—and their views could be summarized as Connect with me, Listen to me, and Partner with me.
  4. There are tangible ways for health organizations and care teams to reinforce a commitment to connecting, listening, and partnering, benefiting patients and the people on the front lines of care.
  5. A focus on Human Understanding in clinical settings creates better care experiences for everyone involved and, in turn, drives likelihood-to-recommend. Patients carry that perception of Human Understanding into the marketplace, which then uplifts the brand.

Discover reliable ways to make connection, listening, and partnership matter at your organization.

Don’t forget to register for NRC Health’s 2023 Pediatric Collaborative in Phoenix!

NRC Health is excited to partner with Phoenix Children’s for the 2023 Pediatric Collaborative on March 28 and 29. NRC Health’s Pediatric Collaborative creates opportunities for partners to connect, learn something new, and leave inspired to make a positive change. Don’t miss a chance to make invaluable pediatric connections, dive deeper into strategic education, and reignite your passion with inspiring speakers, including:

  • Hit a Grand Slam: Support Employee Well-being and Deliver a Better Family Experience
    Toya Gorley, Improvement Advisor, NRC Health
  • Just Keep Swimming: Building Patient Experience Strategy and Infrastructure from the Ground Up
    Melissa Warden, Vice President of Clinical Operations, Phoenix Children’s, and Andrea Aken’Ova, DrPH, Director of Patient and Family Centered Care, Phoenix Children’s
  • The Board’s Role in DEI: One Pediatric Health System’s Journey
    Laura Orr, CEO of Forward Governance Consulting, and Marc Gorelick, MD, President and CEO of Children’s Minnesota
  • Leadership Rounding the Driscoll Way—Connecting with Patients and Families
    Evelyn Ferrer, Patient Relations Director, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, and Julie Piña, MSN, RN, CNOR(E), NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Driscoll Children’s Hospital
  • Leveraging Patient Feedback and Highly Reliable Interventions for Inpatient Communication
    Samuel P. Hanke, MD, MS, MBA, Chief Patient and Family Experience Officer, Cincinnati Children’s
  • Co-navigating Care: Bolstering the Parent-child Bond in Post-covid Pediatrics
    Ryan Donohue, Strategic Advisor, NRC Health