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The opening article in the latest Patient Experience Journal reminded me of how an East Coast hospital boosted its HCAHPS scores by 10%

Overnight.

The article,Reframing Innovation and Technology for Healthcare: A Commitment to the Human Experience” by Jason Wolf, said

  • In healthcare, we focus on technology and digital engagement for their own sakes. Instead of framing everything around our users, we use phrases like, “We do ABC” or “We have XZY.”
  • True Innovation, though, creates and delivers value “to a community of users in the form of a new solution.” That can be cutting edge tech or simple thank you notes.

The article is refreshing.

I’ve been conditioned to believe that the latest technology provides the best results because media tends to cover the groundbreaking. Wolf’s approach reframes how we should think about innovation – how does it contribute to human flourishing?

Here’s a great example: in 2018 an East Coast hospital placed blank thank you notes throughout its facility and encouraged patients to write a thank you note. During the 2-month trial, staff and patients felt more valued.

The result: a 10% overnight spike in HCAHPS scores. After the 2 months, scores immediately dropped to the baseline.

Gratitude is powerful.

That is True Innovation. Find the basic human need and address it. The human experience is always at the center.