Patient Experience 101 (PX 101) equips healthcare organizations with a foundational, easy-to-use educational resource to support and enhance your culture of patient experience excellence. PX 101 provides tool and activities to facilitate discussions on what patient experience is, what it means to them and how they can positively impact experience excellence.

The heart of the program is seven classroom sessions that provide new and experienced team members (employees) knowledge and skills about the reasons why we care about patient experience, guidance about how we deliver patient experience excellence and information on the impact on patients when we perform in a consistent manner.

Each session is presented in a 15 to 30-minute classroom-style format and includes real-life scenarios using pictures, dialogue or video plus interactive exercises where learners actively participate by drawing on life experiences or practicing new skills.

What is Patient Experience?

The aim of this first session is to have each person care about the patient’s experience at a deep and profound level. It first encourages team members to share a personal experience when they themselves or a loved one interacted with a healthcare facility and to identify thoughts and feelings they had at the time. After exploring their own experience, they are then asked to identify thoughts and feelings of patients and family members shown on the PowerPoint as well as actions of people in clinical and non-clinical roles who positively impacted the feelings of those patients at a time when they were feeling most vulnerable and anxious. Through the examples shown, participants are encouraged to realize they too can impact the experience of patients and their families in simple yet profound ways.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners should be able to:

  • Define patient experience
  • Identify who can impact patient experience
  • Describe their role in relation to the patient experience

The Ripple Effect of Patient Experience

When we see patient experience as limited to patient satisfaction scores, we lose sight of the wider implications it has. This session remedies that view by showing how the ripple effect of patient experience impacts outcomes as varied as patient loyalty, healthcare provider reputation and future patient well-being, among others.

This important topic reinforces how every person in the healthcare system, whether they are in a clinical or non-clinical role, can serve as the pebble in the patient’s experience that becomes the source for those vast implications.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize that Patient Experience means more than patient satisfaction scores
  • Identify things patient experience can impact as a result of the ripple effect (such as health and financial outcomes, community reputation, loyalty and employee pride to name a few)
  • Realize that each person in the healthcare system can serve as the pebble in patient experience that causes the ripple effect

What Matters Most to Patients and their Families

Patients and their families form perceptions of their experience from every type of interaction with their healthcare organization: from accessing the provider’s website, to ease of scheduling an appointment, to the interactions they have with each employee, to their view of the facility’s cleanliness and amenities, to their observations of team members’ interactions with one another, to any follow-up care they receive, or contact they have regarding billing, or patient portal usage they might have. Yet some things matter more than others and those things are the focus of this session.

This session focuses on the things that not only matter most to patients and their families but are things each person in the healthcare system can provide: listening, courtesy and respect, and communicating in ways the patient can understand. The class participants identify behaviors team members can perform or actions they can take to provide the things that matter most to patients and their families.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners should be able to:

  • View the healthcare experience from the patient/family’s perspective
  • Recognize what’s most important to our patients and their families when they receive medical care and service
  • Identify actions they can take to deliver those things that matter most to patients

The Place for Empathy in Patient Experience

Empathy is a powerful way to connect with people and can be a valued attribute in a healthcare setting. Yet, sometimes we do things with the intention of showing empathy that ends up either ineffective or worse, have the opposite effect from the one we want. This session helps clarify just what it is about empathy that can improve the patient experience and how team members can be effective in the ways they choose to show it.

The “3 Cs of Empathy” can serve as guidance for demonstrating empathy. It stands for Care, Connect and Communicate and guidelines are provided for implementing each one.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners should be able to:

  • Recognize the impact of empathy or “caring about” patients when “caring for” them
  • Apply the 3 Cs when demonstrating empathy (Care, Connect, Communicate)
  • Learn the value of giving their full attention to patients and their family members
  • Identify the do’s and don’ts of verbal and non-verbal communication when showing patients that they care

Measurement and Patient Experience

Once we realize the importance of patient experience and its impact on the patient’s well-being as well as the healthcare system as-a-whole, then we want to know how well we’re doing in meeting patient expectations. That’s where measurement comes in. Measurement gives us a way to get feedback on our performance, identify what’s working or what we do well, and identify where we can improve.

After discussion/review of a typical survey tool, team members discuss the need for consistency in performing behaviors associated with patient experience excellence. They are also asked to record some of the behaviors expected of them regarding patient experience excellence with the recommendation they discuss their understanding with their supervisor after class.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners should be able to:

  • Describe the reasons for measuring patient experience and identify common survey tools offered by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to measure patient experience
  • Examine regulatory requirements to measure and publicly report patient experience outcomes
  • Know how to improve PX measures through greater consistency of behaviors aligned with patient experience excellence

Service Recovery and Patient Experience

We spend a lot of time talking about the things we can do to provide patients with a positive experience. Even in the best healthcare settings, however, things can go wrong and sometimes the true test of an organization is how it responds when things don’t go as planned. This session gets to the heart of the issue, which is what to do when patients and families don’t get the service they thought they deserved and how to both manage the situation and recover their trust and goodwill.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners should be able to:

  • Define service recovery
  • Identify the critical components of a service recovery moment or encounter
  • Apply the components in practice scenarios
  • Know how to take responsibility without taking (or assigning) the blame

Staying True to Our Purpose

This topic is all about your team members…who they are, what’s important to them, their personal strengths and how those strengths are used on a regular basis. It’s also about the strength of all of us collectively but, most of all, it’s about the individuals on your team. The inner strengths and capabilities each person contributes to the whole is what enables us to provide healthcare to our patients and peace of mind to their loved ones. Therefore, this topic focuses on the people who make that happen.

Through a series of brief exercises, this session has team members create “their story” and then share their stories with others in a small group. The exercises involve identifying and aligning their purpose and values with the organization’s values and connecting the strengths they bring to the table with their contributions they make to the experience of patients and families each day.

As a result of their participation in this session, learners will: 

  • Identify, connect or reconnect to their purpose and goals 
  • Align their purpose/goals and values with the organization’s core values 
  • Recognize personal strengths they bring to work each day 
  • Find the connection between their values, purpose and personal strengths, and the contributions they make to the experience of patients and their families

For additional questions, contact the Institute at 1.866.488.2379 or send an email to

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