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Positively impacting healthcare one patient experience note at a time 

By Irene Byrner, Patient Experience Specialist, PIH Health 

Two years ago, I embarked on a journey that transformed not only my perspective on patient care but also positively impacted morale within PIH Health. Inspired by the simple yet profound impact of handwritten notes, I started to send personalized messages to doctors and staff based on real, positive feedback from patients.   

This initiative, rooted in the belief that every compliment deserves recognition, led to an overwhelmingly positive response.   

Providers accustomed to approaching patient experience as a “bad news” business full of complaints and critiques expressed their gratitude and surprise at receiving personal and positive acknowledgments. These tokens of appreciation became cherished reminders of their hard work and dedication to every unique patient PIH Health serves, as they proudly displayed the notes in their offices.

An organization focused on putting patients first

At PIH Health, our organization-wide vision is centered on putting “patients first.” This mantra is carried throughout our organization in everything we do—looking through the eyes of the patient truly drives our strategy.   

We are committed to being the partner for health and wellness in the diverse communities we serve. Ensuring we listen to and act on the unique needs of our patients guides our patient experience philosophy.   

To bring our patients-first philosophy full circle for care teams, we emphasize and celebrate positive feedback together, often starting meetings with patient stories and regularly sharing highlights of the great care our teams provide.   

Taking positive feedback public

PIH Health shares positive patient feedback on yard signs displayed on the hospital campusThe ripple effect of this small gesture encouraged me to think bigger. Last year, we introduced yard signs featuring patient compliments for each hospital and medical practice, publicly celebrating the positive feedback our healthcare professionals received.   

This initiative not only boosted staff morale but also resonated with patients, fostering a community-wide appreciation for the compassionate care we provide.   

As we prepare to expand this initiative, launching approximately 40 new signs during the upcoming Patient Experience Week the excitement is palpable.   

We hope to make this celebration a quarterly event, continuously acknowledging and sharing the positive impact our staff have on patient lives.  

The power of positive real-time feedback

PIH Health patient experience comments displayed on yard signsThis journey has also reinforced the importance of transparency and real-time feedback. By actively sharing compliments through various channels, we remind our team of our culture of positivity and recognition.   

Our adoption of NRC Health’s Compliment Sharing capabilities has had a positive impact on our organization. And it’s heartening to see this practice being adopted by other members of our team, creating a collective effort to spotlight excellence in patient care.   

Initial skepticism from staff, which worried that only negative messages would be shared, gradually turned into trust and collaboration. This shift underscores the significance of our Patients First vision.   

The feedback from our patients affirms that our care teams are not just meeting but exceeding expectations, embodying our commitment to prioritize patient care above all.  

When I reflect on this journey, it’s clear to me that the act of acknowledging good work—whether through a handwritten note, a yard sign, or a shared compliment—can have a profound impact on healthcare professionals and patients alike.