The Secret Sauce to the Best Patient Experience

While many hospitals and healthcare systems struggle to improve their HCAHPS scores, there is one healthcare system that seems to figured it out – Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, CA. Just look at their HCAHPS patient experience scores on Hospital Compare and you will see that they have consistently outperformed the state and national averages.  So, what is their secret sauce? It is remarkably simple: Take good care of people who care for patients – the staff and physicians – to enable and inspire them to be their best. In 2001, under the leadership of their CEO Mike Murphy, the healthcare system launched The Sharp Experience that was committed to making Sharp HealthCare “the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care”. Seventeen years later, that commitment is unchanged.

This week, I attended the Sharp’s 17th All-Staff Assembly that invited every single member of their staff of more than 18,000 to celebrate THEM – everyday heroes who create extraordinary moments for their patients and do it with genuine heart, care and respect. Watch these real-life patient stories of The Sharp Experience that will move you and remind those of us in healthcare why we chose this path. As Mr. Murphy said in the closing speech to his staff: “Remember the purpose of your work and do not underestimate its impact.”

So, if I had to distill the secret sauce to the BEST patient experience to one sentence, here it is: Forward- and clear-thinking leaders, unwavering in their long-term commitment to take the BEST care of their employees, physicians and patients.

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