I’ve worked in hospitals for my entire career, and as a result, I’ve long considered myself an expert when it comes to navigating the healthcare system as a patient. But a year ago today, despite my “expertise”, my entire perspective changed:

As a healthy 28 year-old with a high-deductible, it took some coaxing to get me to the ER. I knew it would take a while, so like a good consultant, I even brought my laptop. What I didn’t know was that within a few hours, I would have my chest open on an operating table.

Until this point, I saw ‘patient experience’ as a metric. As a consultant, I could recite best practices for patient experience from the clinic to the cafeteria. But as a patient, only one thing mattered to me – having providers who were attentive, competent and caring. I would have overlooked egregious wait times and dreadful amenities for the nurse who sat by my bed until my family arrived, or the anesthesiologist who kept me calm when I struggled with sedation.

Objectively, I know that patient experience is shaped by numerous interactions across the continuum, and hospitals are wise to optimize them all; but to me, there is no shiny, new strategy or innovation that can compete with a culture of compassionate providers.

What defines a great patient experience to you?

About the Author
Emily Hecht
Senior Consultant & Creative Lead

Emily Hecht, Consultant & Creative Lead, partners with hospital and health system leaders to drive innovation and organizational transformation across the continuum. Having a thorough understanding of the changing needs and unprecedented challenges facing the healthcare industry, Hecht leverages the unique ability to translate complex, high-level concepts into user-friendly tools to elicit meaningful outcomes for her clients. Notable projects include: the development and implementation of a redesigned funds flow model within an integrated health system environment; the strategic alignment and integration of a nationally recognized medical university’s clinical and academic enterprises; and the design and development of a multidisciplinary clinical delivery framework spanning newly-integrated provider organizations.

Hecht’s professional foundation in healthcare spans pharmaceutical research, quality improvement, and patient-facing roles.  Prior to joining KCG, she earned a BA from the University of Georgia and a Master in Health Administration with honors from the Medical University of South Carolina, where she was inducted into both the Upsilon Phi Delta and Alpha Eta National Honor Societies for Allied Health Professionals.