Culture & Leadership

Empathy as a Breakthrough Approach to Culture Transformation

Rhonda Dishongh, Leader of Patient Experience and Patient Relations and Patient Access, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital
Polina Strug, MPH, Director of Patient Experience & Patient Relations, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center
Ashley Dubbelde, MHA, Director of Patient Relations and Customer Experience, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital
Dorothy Sisneros, MS, MBA, Partner and SVP Client Services, Language of Caring®

The largest not-for-profit health system in Southeast Texas, Memorial Hermann has 13 hospitals and numerous specialty services throughout Greater Houston. Memorial Hermann facilities have many best practices that make the patient experience consistently excellent, including hourly rounding, thank you notes, and post-discharge calls. They found that, while people were implementing these practices regularly, their communication felt routine and lacking in apparent empathy. The results were disappointing: Average, not GREAT scores on CAHPS and employee engagement. Setting their sights higher, they decided to focus on building skills that communicate empathy, mindfulness and patient-centeredness, at the same time making the staff’s work more rewarding. In this webinar, Patient Experience Leaders from 3 Memorial Hermann facilities will describe how they launched this approach at individual facilities and then spread throughout the system. They will then share their experiences, results, impact on the culture, and learnings. Language of Caring Partner Dorothy Sisneros will also describe her role and offer insights about the keys to Memorial Hermann’s effectiveness.