The Unexpected Experience – It’s a Journey… Not a Destination


Recently, I had a relative message me on Facebook about an experience he was having with an immediate family member in an acute, unexpected healthcare situation. He wrote “…having been in the hospital for over a week now I was realizing how the work that you do may never be finished. Many hospitals are good at patient ‘health’, but aren’t all that great at patient ‘care’.” I was reminded that while there has been a lot of progress in the industry in terms of patient experience improvement, the reality is that there is much more work to do.

In the final blog post in this series I’d like to recap the journey we’ve been on and provide an opportunity for you to access a key resource to support you in your improvement efforts.

In this series, we’ve looked at various aspects of patients’ and families’ Unexpected Experiences in the Emergency Department. We’ve talked about the upcoming requirements for surveys and public reporting, why the ED is so important to the hospital and the healthcare system, what’s most important to patients and families, what the department as well as staff and physicians individually can do to help achieve a better patient and family experience, and we’ve shared some success stories from high performers. In case you missed any of our blogs, here’s a link to the start for all of them.

As I’ve mentioned before, I continue to be unbelievably impressed with the staff that choose to work in the Emergency Departments of this country. Every day, they are walking in to take care of patients and families who are not at their best in unexpected situations. I wanted to conclude this series with something one of my favorite ED techs, Blake Southard, shared with me when we were putting together a workshop for his department:

“When people come in here, some of them are having the worst day of their entire life. We’re given the opportunity to help them work through that and to help them overcome their fear and anxiety. And it is possible to turn what could potentially be the worst day of their lives into a positive experience.”

It is with that profound respect for the staff and physicians that care for patients and families each and every day that I leave you to your work in improvement of your patients’ and families’ unexpected experiences.

To support you on your improvement journey, we’ve teamed up with the folks at MyRounding to put together an eBook entitled Your Complete Guide to ED-CAHPS. Click below to access your free copy of this resource!

Click to Download ED-CAHPS eBook

Janiece Gray

I began my career as a social worker and later, with my Master of Health Administration (MHA), directed operations at Allina Health in Minnesota. I later directed patient experience at Allina. My background and experience give me strengths in approaching healthcare opportunities and challenges through a systems lens – with unique strengths, challenges and activation points. My experience is also informed by leadership roles leading performance improvement in patient-centered care and patient experience departments. Working in the client role with healthcare consulting firms inspired me to address some unmet needs in the industry, and to co-found DTA Healthcare Solutions. I have a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and find that the discipline of practice translates to healthcare work very well.

We’ve helped clients across the country accelerate toward value-based healthcare delivery.

Let us do the same for you.