Leveraging the Patient Experience for Healthcare Process Improvement: A North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System Study

Genna Weiss

Within the Lean, Six Sigma and Process Excellence community, there have been proponents of the Voice of the Customer (VOC) as a tool to help identify and prioritize process improvement projects. In this Profit through Process Podcast, Genna Weiss of Six Sigma IQ speaks with Donna Powers, a RN, MPA and Six Sigma Master Black Belt for North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, who discusses how this health system is leveraging the patient experience for healthcare process improvement.

You will hear humanistic reasons for why North Shore-LIJ Health System—the largest healthcare network in New York State based on net patient revenue—decided to shift its focus from process improvement projects focused on satisfying internal customers (the staff) to projects that place the patient as the primary customer. Powers explains how North Shore-LIJ Health System has begun to implement this patient-focused approach and how it ultimately has benefited both the internal and external customer. Powers also goes over the steps that North Shore-LIJ Health System has taken to measure the customer experience through the use of Press Ganey reports. In addition, Powers describes how increased customer satisfaction leads to improved financial performance for a healthcare organization and how employee satisfaction, which is directly tied to customer satisfaction, is critical in guaranteeing the long term quality of life for the patient. Powers offers her advice on how other healthcare organizations can adopt this approach and shows how placing the customer can benefit your own healthcare organization from a humanistic, economic, efficiency-producing, competitive and liability-reducing standpoint.