Achieving an Exceptional Patient and Family Experience of Inpatient Hospital Care

n response to growing interest from the hospital community in better understanding and improving the experience of patients and their families during hospitalization, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conducted an in-depth review of the research, studied exemplar organizations, and interviewed experts in the field to identify the primary and secondary drivers of exceptional patient and family inpatient hospital experience (defined as care that is patient centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient, and equitable), as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey's “willingness to recommend” the hospital.

n response to growing interest from the hospital community in better understanding and improving the experience of patients and their families during hospitalization, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conducted an in-depth review of the research, studied exemplar organizations, and interviewed experts in the field to identify the primary and secondary drivers of exceptional patient and family inpatient hospital experience (defined as care that is patient centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient, and equitable), as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey's “willingness to recommend” the hospital.

The project identified five primary drivers of exceptional patient and family inpatient hospital experience of care: leadership; staff hearts and minds; respectful partnership; reliable care; and evidence-based care.

To help hospitals make sense of the many aspects of improving the patient and family experience, this white paper includes:

  • A list of primary and secondary drivers that, taken together, will result in achieving the overall aim;
  • Exemplars from a variety of hospitals to help translate concept into action;
  • Tips on how to get started; and
  • Extensive references and a bibliography to provide further evidence, guidance, and applied examples.

Hospitals can use this framework to design their efforts to improve the patient and family experience — testing and implementing changes, weaving them into the fabric of daily work for everyone, and achieving outstanding results

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