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Case Studies & Best Practices

A "Best Practice" can be defined as a technique or methodology that has proven reliably to lead to a desired result. At a minimum, a best practice should:
  • Demonstrate evidence of success
  • Affect something important (i.e. CAHPS, safety, wait time)
  • Have the potential to be replicated or adapted to other settings
AfPE collects and reviews case studies that highlight best practices so that effective models may be shared and replicated. If you would like to share your case study, please email info@patient-experience.org.

"PALS" Volunteer Program

| 9/24/2015

The Customer Service and Volunteer department teamed up to see how volunteers could directly impact the patient experience. After meeting with nursing unit leaders to get input around what patient-centric support activities a volunteer could provide, information and goals were collected and created resulting in a new volunteer program called “PALS” or Patient Advocate Liaison Volunteers.

Tags: service excellence, communication, volunteer

Discharge Time-Out

| 8/9/2013 A multi-disciplinary team at South Pointe Hospital implemented a discharge planning process for continuing care in the post-hospital setting. Tags: discharge, readmission, HCAHPS

Effective Nurse Leader Rounding

| 5/15/2013 Cleveland Clinic Nursing Institute Council, and the Office of Patient Experience facilitated a team to develop a standard nurse manager rounding process for the Cleveland Clinic enterprise. Tags: employee engagement, rounding, HCAHPS

Emergency Department, Inpatient Rounding, the Patient Experience and Service Recovery

| 10/20/2016

In the world of emergency medicine, service failures threaten the patient experience and can result in increased patient / family dissatisfaction, increased risk and med-mal exposure and influence the Value Based Purchasing financial impact on hospital in-patient HCAHPS scores and the anticipated ED PECS (2017). 

Tags: service excellence, culture, employee engagement, rounding, communication

Get Back to Teaching with Teach Back

| 5/5/2014 To address the Communication about Medications domain of the HCAHPS survey and better meet the patient’s needs, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH) implemented the use of Teach Back, an evidence-based practice for patient education. Following an initial trial period or three months in the CT unit, success was demonstrated by HCAHPS data (11th percentile to 80th percentile). Implementation to the rest of Medical Surgical units followed. Tags: communication, medication

Healing Arts Program

| 7/31/2014 The objectives of the program are to improve patient experience; improve outcomes for patients and families; increase co-worker engagement; and enhance community collaborations aimed at health and well-being. Tags: culture, employee engagement, HCAHPS, art

Hospitality Hosts Opportunity

| 5/21/2013 Taking inspiration from the hotel and hospitality industries, Long Island Jewish Medical Center (2013 AfPE Practice of the Year Award Winner) spearheaded a cultural shift to transform from a service-oriented to a hospitality-oriented hospital. Tags: service excellence, culture, HCAHPS

I Can Help Greeter Program

| 5/15/2013 To address the need of identifying interpersonal way-finding tools and to increase volunteer opportunities for staff and employee engagement, the I Can Help greeter program was created.

Tags: service excellence, culture, employee engagement, rounding

Improving Medication Communication

| 5/15/2013 A multidisciplinary improvement team of nursing, pharmacy, operations and patient experience was formed to develop a process to share best practices about medication communication across a multi-hospital system. Tags: communication, medication, patient engagement

Language Access: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Patient Experience

| 6/29/2015 Language barriers in healthcare are associated with poor quality of care, inadequate communication of diagnosis, treatment and prescribed medication and higher rates of medical errors. The North Shore-LIJ Health System (NSLIJHS) serves a geographic area that encompasses more than 8 million people that speak over 175 languages. As surrounding communities have become more diverse, the NSLIJHS has recognized the need to cultivate effective communication and diversity. Tags: culture, communication, diversity

Honoring Practice at the End of Life

| 7/30/2015 The busy environment of critical care often does not often allow nurses time to support family members through the event after death and the grief process after the loss of their loved one. The nurse is hurried to move on to the next critically ill patient/admission. When performing an end-of-life honoring ceremony, critical care nurses will report a greater sense of comfort with care after death. Nurses and patients’ families express increased feelings of closure and increased satisfaction with their care. Tags: culture, employee engagement, communication, end of life

Patient Advisory Council Toolkit

| 6/26/2014 A toolkit used for patient advisory council implementation that includes sample recruitment letter, meeting agenda, report out tool and instructions and more. Tags: patient advisory council

Patient Videos: Engaging Patients in Change

| 8/27/2015 Patient experiences are often inaccessible and unexposed to hospital decision-makers. To address this gap, Toronto East General Hospital began filming interviews with patients over the past four years. The videos have been instrumental in grounding staff with the realities of patient care and providing a human face to the hospital’s performance metrics and strategic priorities.
Tags: culture, employee engagement, communication, patient engagement

Patient-Centered Room Service Style Meal Service

| 5/15/2013 Cottage Health System’s nutrition department pushed the envelope of industry standards and re-imagined a food service model similar to that of room service in the luxury hotel industry. Tags: service excellence, HCAHPS

The Power of the Chief Moment Officer

| 5/15/2013 Beacon Health System implemented a culture-changing effort to empower front-line staff. Tags: service excellence, culture, employee engagement