Editor’s Note: In our continuing series of leadership interviews, Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success talks with Dr. James Merlino who recently assumed a position with Press Ganey as president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division. At the time of this interview Dr. Merlino was the Chief Experience Officer and Associate Chief of Staff for the Cleveland Clinic.
Driving patient experience is a primary consideration in healthcare delivery today. People are customers before they become patients and every organization and practice is making patient experience a top priority. There’s no better example of how difficult this change can be—and what's required to achieve it—than the story Dr. James Merlino tells in his new book: Service Fanatics: How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way.
Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success, talked with Dr. Merlino about the challenges and successes of a patient experience mandate and cultural change in an organization.
Cleveland Clinic has long been known for its positive clinical reputation, but ten years ago, it was not highly regarded for how patients experienced care. The changes that have lead to the organization's excellence in patient experience and other discussion points in today’s podcast include:
We think this book should be required reading for healthcare providers. And for the benefit of individual practitioners, group practices and large and small hospitals, professionals and organizational leaders need to make patient experience a top priority. Any organization that is trying to drive and sustain change needs to set it as an overarching strategic priority.
And for more on this topic, see: Leadership First, and other Critical Lessons to Improve Patient Experience, and Cleveland Clinic Summit: Sharable and Scalable Patient Experience Ideas.
The 2015 Patient Experience Empathy and Innovation Summit will be in Cleveland from May 17-20, 2015.
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James Merlino, MD, is the president and chief medical officer of Press Ganey’s strategic consulting division. Formerly he was the Chief Experience Officer of the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and a practicing staff colorectal surgeon in the Digestive Disease Institute. He is also the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience.