What is the value in having a CXO?
Recently I assisted Jason Wolf, President of The Beryl Institute, in interviewing 14 patient experience leaders from across the country (plus one from across the pond!). We were interested in hearing about their journey in becoming a patient experience leader, their successes, and the struggles that they face in fulfilling their roles. From those interviews, we produced a new white paper entitled “The Chief Experience Officer—An Emerging and Critical Role.”
The most poignant question we asked was about the value of having a CXO in a hospital or other healthcare organization. Not surprisingly, virtually every person told us that having a dedicated role at the senior level reinforces the importance of providing a great patient experience. If finances are important, then a CFO is important. If human resources are important, a chief of human resources is needed. Ergo, when it comes to patient experience. If the organization says this is truly important (and strategic), shouldn’t there be a CXO (or equivalent)?
A CXO, working in concert with the CEO and other leaders, becomes the sparkplug in shifting the entire organization toward a “patient-centric culture.” As one of our respondents told us, “my job is to make others feel uncomfortable about how we’re doing things today.” A seat at the executive table allows the CXO to share in key resource and policy decisions, ensuring that the customer actually has a voice in such key deliberations. It’s also a way to coordinate and drive change across departments and functions, from parking to IT.
Having a CXO who helps move the organization away from a traditional “clinical” or “physician-centered” culture toward a “patient-centric culture” has another obvious value. Money. Hospitals stand to gain or lose significant CMS reimbursements based on what patients say about their inpatient experiences. In time, the government and potentially other payers will be tracking and reporting patient survey results that reflect the wider experience a patient has, across the continuum of care.
People are paying for more of their own healthcare expenses, while concurrently the federal government is pushing value-based payment and greater transparency. With these trends, more and more patients will begin to expect an outstanding experience, and tolerance for things like noise at night, poor discharge instructions, and unwieldy business practices will be publicized and will become competitive disadvantages.
Designating (and resourcing) a Chief Experience Officer may be just what’s needed!
To download a free copy of “The Chief Experience Officer—An Emerging and Critical Role,” click here and enter code CXO_CATALYST at checkout.