Our Success Story for Improving Patient Experience

Putting patients first requires more than world-class clinical care – it requires care that addresses every aspect of a patient’s encounter with Cleveland Clinic, including the patient’s physical comfort, as well as their educational, emotional, and spiritual needs. Our team of professionals serves as an advisory resource for critical initiatives across the Cleveland Clinic health system related to improving patient experience. In addition, we provide resources and data analytics; identify, support, and publish sustainable best practices; and collaborate with a variety of departments to ensure the consistent delivery of patient-centered care. And now, through the Patient Experience Advisory Group, we are extending our programs and services to external organizations.

Cleveland Clinic has long had a reputation for medical excellence and for holding down costs. But in 2009, President and CEO Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, examined its performance relative to that of other hospitals and admitted to himself that inpatients did not think much of their experience at its flagship medical center or its eight community hospitals—and decided something had to be done.

By focusing the next three years on improving patient experience, the Clinic transformed itself. We are the first major academic medical center to make patient experience a strategic goal, appoint a Chief Experience Officer, and one of the first to establish an Office of Patient Experience.

Our overall ranking in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey of patient satisfaction jumped from about average to among the top 8% of the roughly 4,600 hospitals included. Hospital executives from all over the world now flock to Cleveland to study the Clinic’s practices for improving patient experience.